How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School near Benton AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Benton AR is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Benton AR labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Benton AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians 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.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally 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 method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Benton AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Benton AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Benton AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Benton AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Benton AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact 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, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Benton AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Benton AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Benton Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist 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 contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.