How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Bentonville AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Bentonville AR is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Bentonville AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Bentonville AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist 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 under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Bentonville AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Bentonville AR students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bentonville AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Bentonville AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical 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 look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 large network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bentonville AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bentonville Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bentonville AR.