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Become a Phlebotomist in Benton Arkansas

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Benton AR

Benton AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Benton AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools 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 factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Benton AR phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Benton AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Benton AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Benton AR laboratoryThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Benton AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Training

Benton Arkansas student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Benton AR students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist 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 receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Benton AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws 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 phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Benton AR job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Benton AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Benton AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Benton AR medical community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Benton AR, make certain 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Benton Arkansas

Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.