How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Benton AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Benton AR is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Benton AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Benton AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Benton AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Benton AR students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Benton AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Benton AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer 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 also. You can also contact several Benton AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see 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 total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Benton AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Benton AR medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Benton AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Benton Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. 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 an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program 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 select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.