How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Bentonville AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Bentonville AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bentonville AR labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Bentonville AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive 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, most Bentonville AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out 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 part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Bentonville AR students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bentonville AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of 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 the reputations of all schools 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 placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Bentonville AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bentonville AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bentonville AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Bentonville Arkansas
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bentonville AR.