How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Wiseman AR is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Wiseman AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Wiseman AR laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Wiseman AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Wiseman AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Wiseman AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Wiseman AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Wiseman AR job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Wiseman AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Wiseman AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Wiseman AR medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wiseman AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomy Associates Degree Wiseman Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Associates Degree and to get more information regarding Online Phlebotomy Schools. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Wiseman AR.
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