How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Benton AR
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Benton AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Benton AR laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Benton AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate 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 route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Benton AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Benton AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Benton AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Benton AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Benton AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical 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 also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Benton AR health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Benton AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Benton Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.