How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Bentonville AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Bentonville AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Bentonville AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Bentonville AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Bentonville AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing 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 supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Bentonville AR students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 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. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bentonville AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools 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 also check with several Bentonville AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bentonville AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bentonville AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Bentonville Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bentonville AR.