Picking a Phlebotomist School near West Memphis Arkansas
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near West Memphis AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering two 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 discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in West Memphis AR area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as West Memphis AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at West Memphis AR junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many West Memphis AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many West Memphis AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the West Memphis AR programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws 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 amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the West Memphis AR job market.
What is the Program’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 imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some West Memphis AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the West Memphis AR training program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with West Memphis AR healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local West Memphis healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the West Memphis AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near West Memphis AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near West Memphis AR?
West Memphis, Arkansas
West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census, ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.
Native Americans lived in the Mississippi River Valley for at least 10,000 years, although much of the evidence of their presence has been buried or destroyed. The Indians of the Mississippian Period were the last native inhabitants of the West Memphis area. Mound City Road, located within the eastern portion of the West Memphis city limits, has a marker indicating that the villages of Aquixo (Aquijo) or Pacaha were in the area. Several mounds are still visible.
Explorers from both Spain and France visited the area near West Memphis. Among those explorers were Hernando de Soto and his men from Spain and Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet from France. By the time French hunters and explorers entered the region, the Mississippian towns and other settlements had been abandoned. The original site of West Memphis came from Spanish land grants issued during the 1790s. Grants were given to Benjamin Fooy, John Henry Fooy, and Isaac Fooy in the Hopefield (Crittenden County) area and to William McKenney in the Bridgeport-West Memphis area.
In the summer of 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto crossed the Mississippi River into what is now Crittenden County with an army of over 300 conquistadors and almost as many captured Native American slaves. The Spanish found the land to be the most densely populated that they had seen since starting their journey on the Florida coast, two years earlier. The Spanish expedition departed Arkansas two years later, leaving behind numerous Old World diseases. It was 130 years before Europeans visited this region again. The French expedition of Joliet and Marquette in 1673 found none of the towns or people that the Spanish had documented; all that remained were the many mounds that still dot the landscape along the rivers and creeks. The original inhabitants, like the later settlers, were drawn to this region because of its fertile river bottom soil, abundant game, and thick forest.
Select the Best Phlebotomist College near West Memphis AR
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West Memphis AR.
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