How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Benton AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Benton AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Benton AR laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Benton AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Benton AR employers look for certification before hiring 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Benton AR students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Benton AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the Program'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 in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Benton AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. 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 Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 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 provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Benton AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Benton AR health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Benton AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Benton Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several 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 junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can 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 diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Benton AR.