Choosing a Phlebotomy Course near West Helena Arkansas
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near West Helena AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering 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 a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select 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 training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of West Helena AR phlebotomists actually work in laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including West Helena AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training in West Helena AR, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved West Helena AR healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Arkansas school is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the West Helena AR programs you are considering before making your ultimate 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 some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick 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 many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges in West Helena AR. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some West Helena AR area clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the Arkansas regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any West Helena AR phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the Arkansas programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local West Helena AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the West Helena AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near West Helena AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Why Did You Want to Become a Phlebotomist?When prepping to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask Phlebotomy Technician candidates is "What compelled you to select Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomist, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to Phlebotomy, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent Phlebotomy Technician and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Phlebotomy School near West Helena AR
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in West Helena AR.
Learn About West Helena Arkansas
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.
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