Selecting a Phlebotomist School near Texarkana Arkansas
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Texarkana AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially 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 review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to researching phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are researching to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 in fact work in Texarkana AR area laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Texarkana AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Texarkana AR junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Texarkana AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Texarkana AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the Texarkana AR colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example 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 qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Texarkana AR job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Texarkana AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the Texarkana AR training program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Texarkana AR health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Texarkana medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at 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 college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Texarkana AR medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Texarkana AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Texarkana AR?
Texarkana is a city in Arkansas and the county seat of Miller County. The city is located across the state line from its twin city, Texarkana, Texas. The city was founded at a railroad intersection on December 8, 1873, and was incorporated in Arkansas on August 10, 1880. Texarkana is the principal city of the Texarkana metropolitan area, which is ranked 274th in terms of population in the United States with 150,098 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau.
Located within the Ark-La-Tex subregion of Southwest Arkansas, Texarkana is located in the Piney Woods, a oak-hickory forest atop the flat Gulf Coastal Plain. Texarkana's economy is driven by agriculture and the city's position as a crossroads of three major Interstate highways: Interstate 30 (I-30), I-49 and the future I-69. Outdoors tourism, such as fishing at Lake Millwood, are also important in the region. The Texarkana Arkansas School District is the largest public school district on the Arkansas side, leading to graduation from Arkansas High School. The city is home to Texarkana College (on the Texas side of town), and a branch campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH).
Texarkana, Arkansas, is located at 33°25′59″N 94°1′14″W / 33.43306°N 94.02056°W / 33.43306; -94.02056 (33.433075, -94.020514). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.9 square miles (108.4 km2), of which 41.7 square miles (107.9 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2) (0.43%) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Texarkana has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Course near Texarkana AR
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Texarkana AR.
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