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Become a Phlebotomist in Benton Arkansas

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Benton AR

Benton AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Benton AR is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary

Benton AR phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Benton AR labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Benton AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Benton AR laboratoryThere are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method 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 phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Benton AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Benton Arkansas woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However 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, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Benton AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Benton AR job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Benton AR clinics or hospitals that you might 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 submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Benton AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Benton AR medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Benton AR, make certain they are available 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 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 due to emergencies or illness.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Benton Arkansas

Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.