How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Benton AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Benton AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 Benton AR laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Benton AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working 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 collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Benton AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Benton AR students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Benton AR medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Benton AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Benton AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final 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 Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Benton AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy 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 rate is. If a college has a high 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 large network of professional contacts within the Benton AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Benton AR, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Benton Arkansas
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.