How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Benton AR
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Benton AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Benton AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Benton AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Benton AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical 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 component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Benton AR students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Benton AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Benton AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested 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 complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 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 comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Benton AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Benton AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, 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 true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Benton AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Benton Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Benton AR.