Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School near Ozark Arkansas
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Ozark AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding 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. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are researching to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Ozark AR area laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Ozark AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Ozark AR junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Ozark AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Ozark AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the Ozark AR colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Ozark AR job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Ozark AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the Ozark AR training program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Ozark AR healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Ozark healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Ozark AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Ozark AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Ozark AR?
Ozark is a city in Franklin County, Arkansas, United States and one of the county's two seats of government. The community is located along the Arkansas River in the Arkansas River Valley on the southern edge of the Ozark Mountains. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 3,684.
Incorporated in 1850, Ozark is adjacent to much of Arkansas wine country, and contains a bridge to cross the Arkansas River for travelers heading to points south. The city is also located on Arkansas Highway 23, nicknamed the Pig Trail Scenic Byway, known for its steep drops, sharp curves and scenic mountain views. The city is contained within the Fort Smith metropolitan area.
Native Americans roamed the area freely before Arkansas was a territory. The Cherokee and Osage lived in this area that would later become attractive to settlers. The Ozark area was frequented by French fur trappers and served as a landmark during European exploration of the area. It was these adventurous souls who gave the area and the rolling mountains that rise there their name, Aux Arcs.
Included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the vicinity became a stopping and crossing point along the Arkansas River. The modern settlement of Ozark was established here in the 1830s, and an important road grew connecting Ozark to Fayetteville, Arkansas, following the route of today's Pig Trail Scenic Byway to connect Northwest Arkansas with the river.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomist Course near Ozark AR
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ozark AR.
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