Selecting a Phlebotomist School near Paragould Arkansas
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Paragould AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Paragould AR area laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Paragould AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing 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 samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Paragould AR community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Paragould AR employers look for 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Paragould AR students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Paragould AR colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Paragould AR job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Paragould AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the Paragould AR training program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Paragould AR healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Paragould health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Paragould AR medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Paragould AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Paragould AR?
Paragould is the county seat of Greene County, and the 19th-largest city in Arkansas, in the United States. The city is located in northeastern Arkansas on the eastern edge of Crowley's Ridge, a geologic anomaly contained within the Arkansas delta.
Paragould is the principal city of the Paragould, Arkansas Micropolitan Statistical Area and is also a part of the Jonesboro-Paragould Combined Statistical Area. The Paragould micropolitan area's population was 42,090 at the 2010 census, and the Jonesboro-Paragould Combined Statistical Area's population was 163,116.
The city's name is a blend combining the last names of competing railroad magnates J. W. Paramore and Jay Gould. Paramore's Texas & St. Louis Railway (later the Cotton Belt) and Gould's St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway (later the Missouri Pacific) intersected here in 1882. A group of citizens chose the name, and it is believed to be the only city in the world with this name. Gould objected to his name's being second and refused to list the new town on his schedules.
Paragould is located southeast of the center of Greene County. U.S. Routes 412 and 49 intersect in the city west of downtown. US 412 leads east 9 miles (14 km) to the Missouri state line at the St. Francis River, and a further 23 miles (37 km) northeast to Kennett, Missouri; to the west US 412 leads 26 miles (42 km) to Walnut Ridge. US 49 leads northeast 32 miles (51 km) to Piggott and southwest 20 miles (32 km) to Jonesboro. The closest major city is Memphis, Tennessee, 82 miles (132 km) to the southeast.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy College near Paragould AR
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Paragould AR.
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