Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician School near Saratoga Arkansas
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Saratoga AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are considering to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Saratoga AR area laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Saratoga AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Saratoga AR community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Saratoga AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Saratoga AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy 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 might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the Saratoga AR colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as 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 superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Saratoga AR job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Saratoga AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Saratoga AR training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Saratoga AR medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Saratoga medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Saratoga AR health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Saratoga AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Saratoga AR?
Saratoga is an unincorporated community in Hempstead and Howard counties, Arkansas, United States. Saratoga is located at the junction of Arkansas highways 32, 73 and 355, 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Tollette. Saratoga has a post office with ZIP code 71859.
Residents are served by the Mineral Springs Saratoga School District. On July 1, 2004, the Saratoga School District consolidated into the Mineral Springs School District. The local high school is currently Mineral Springs High School; the district previously operated Saratoga High School until its 2012 closure.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomy School near Saratoga AR
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Saratoga AR.
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