How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Benton AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Benton AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all 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, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Benton AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Benton AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become 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 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Benton AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Benton AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Benton AR medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Benton AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Benton AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Benton AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Benton AR medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Benton AR, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Benton Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.