Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Course near West Helena Arkansas
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near West Helena AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far 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 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 phlebotomist schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 West Helena AR area labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including West Helena AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at West Helena AR community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of West Helena AR employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice 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 enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many West Helena AR students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the West Helena AR colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours 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 enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the West Helena AR job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several West Helena AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the West Helena AR training program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with West Helena AR medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local West Helena healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the West Helena AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near West Helena AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near West Helena AR?
Helena–West Helena, Arkansas
Helena–West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States. The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.
The municipality traces its historical roots to the founding of the port town of Helena on the Mississippi River by European Americans in 1833. As the county seat, Helena was the center of a prosperous cotton plantation region in the antebellum years. Helena was occupied by the Union Army early in the American Civil War. The city was the site of the Battle of Helena fought in 1863. Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to expel Union forces from Helena in order to help relieve pressure on the strategic river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Later in the year, Helena served as the launching point for the Union Army in the capture of Little Rock, the state capital.
A thriving blues community developed here in the 1940s and 1950s as rural musicians relocated for city jobs. Mechanization had reduced the need for farm workers. The city continued to grow until the closing of the Mohawk Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Company, in the 1970s. Unemployment surged shortly after.
Among the attractions in Helena–West Helena are the Delta Cultural Center, the Pillow-Thompson House (owned and operated by the Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas), and the Helena Confederate Cemetery, which holds the remains of seven Confederate Army generals. The city holds an annual King Biscuit Blues Festival each October. It has been held under this name since 2010, when it was renamed at a 25th-anniversary performance by musician B.B. King.
Select the Best Phlebotomy School near West Helena AR
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West Helena AR.
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