How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Benton AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Benton AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember 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 must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Benton AR laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Benton AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Benton AR employers require certification prior to 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 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 select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Benton AR students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school 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 phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable 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 Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Benton AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 clinical and classroom. At 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Benton AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Benton AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Benton AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Benton Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.