How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Benton AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Benton AR is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much 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 should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Benton AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Benton AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older 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 samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Benton AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Benton AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Benton AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Benton AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Benton AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority 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 health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Benton AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Benton Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.