Picking a Phlebotomy School near Salem Arkansas
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Salem AR is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to researching phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 actually work in Salem AR area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Salem AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Salem AR community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Salem AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Salem AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior 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 right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the Salem AR programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Salem AR job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Salem AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Salem AR training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Salem AR medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Salem health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Salem AR health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Salem AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Salem AR?
Find the Best Phlebotomy Course near Salem AR
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Salem AR.
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