Selecting a Phlebotomy School near Searcy Arkansas
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Searcy AR is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Searcy AR area labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Searcy AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Searcy AR junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Searcy AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Searcy AR students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the Searcy AR schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Searcy AR job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Searcy AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. 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 less than these minimums may signify that the Searcy AR training program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Searcy AR health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Searcy health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Searcy AR health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Searcy AR, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Searcy AR?
Searcy (/ˈsɜːrsi/ SUR-see) is the largest city and county seat of White County, Arkansas, United States. According to 2014 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 23,768. It is the principal city of the Searcy, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of White County. The city takes its name from Richard Searcy, a judge for the Superior Court of the Arkansas Territory. A college town, Searcy is the home of Harding University.
Israel Moore, who had traveled west from Philadelphia, was in charge of laying out Searcy's original streets, and "he proceeded to name the major streets of Searcy for those of downtown Old Philadelphia near Independence Hall; Race, Arch, Market, Vine, Spring, and the tree-honoring streets of Cherry, Spruce, Locust and Pine." In 1957, Searcy named Moore Street after the 19th-century founder.
Spring Street also has a namesake in Old City Philadelphia, but it, along with downtown Searcy's Spring Park, may refer to the early history of the Searcy area, when the community was known as White Sulphur Springs. As early as 1834, local springs with purported therapeutic properties initially drew visitors to the area, similar to the popular attraction to Hot Springs.
During the American Civil War, the Battle of Whitney's Lane was fought near Searcy though the exact site is disputed. Searcy Landing, on the Little Red River, is the final resting place for some Union Army soldiers.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy School near Searcy AR
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Searcy AR.
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