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Become a Phlebotomist in Bentonville Arkansas

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Bentonville AR

Bentonville AR phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Bentonville AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best 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 Job Summary

Bentonville AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments 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 needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bentonville AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Bentonville AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Bentonville AR labThere are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Bentonville AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:

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

There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Colleges

Bentonville Arkansas student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Bentonville AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Bentonville AR job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Bentonville AR clinics or hospitals 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Bentonville AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, 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 Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bentonville AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bentonville Arkansas

Bentonville AR phlebotomist lab blood testingMaking sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bentonville AR.