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Become a Phlebotomist in Bentonville Arkansas

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Bentonville AR

Bentonville AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Bentonville AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best 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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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Bentonville AR phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bentonville AR laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Bentonville AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked 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 drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Bentonville AR laboratoryThere are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Bentonville AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Colleges

Bentonville AR woman attending phlebotomy training onlineFirst, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Bentonville AR students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bentonville AR medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 could be the right job for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

What to ask Bentonville AR phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important 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 several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bentonville AR job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Bentonville AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bentonville AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR health care community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bentonville AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. 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 protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bentonville Arkansas

Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bentonville AR.