How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Benton AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Benton AR is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used 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 properly filled out 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Benton AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Benton AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility 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 exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available 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 become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Benton AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Benton AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in 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 superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Benton AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all 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 also. You can also check with some Benton AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Benton AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Benton AR medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Benton AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Benton Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.