How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Bentonville AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Bentonville AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able 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 may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bentonville AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Bentonville AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Bentonville AR employers require certification before employing 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum 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. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Bentonville AR students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online 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 best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bentonville AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Bentonville AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Bentonville AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bentonville AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Bentonville Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bentonville AR.