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Become a Phlebotomist in Benton Arkansas

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Benton AR

Benton AR phlebotomy tech drawing bloodSelecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Benton AR is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Benton AR phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Benton AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Benton AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Benton AR labThere are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Benton AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees

Benton AR woman attending phlebotomy training onlineFirst, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Benton AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Benton AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Benton AR job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Benton AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. As 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Benton AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Benton AR medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend 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 also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Benton Arkansas

Benton AR phlebotomist laboratory blood testingMaking certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.