How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Benton AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Benton AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, 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 best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards 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 principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Benton AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Benton AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively 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 environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Benton AR employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Benton AR students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become 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 short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Benton AR medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights 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 could be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend 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. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Benton AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Benton AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Benton AR medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Benton AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Benton Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Benton AR.