How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Benton AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Benton AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Benton AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Benton AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working 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 drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Benton AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of 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 examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Benton AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program 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 receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Benton AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and 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.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now 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 chosen 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Benton AR in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools 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 screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Benton AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Benton AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Benton AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Benton AR, make sure they are available 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Benton Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.