How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Bentonville AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Bentonville AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain 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 location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out 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 selection process too. To assist in that effort, 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 right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bentonville AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Bentonville AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Bentonville AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Bentonville AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Bentonville AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Bentonville AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bentonville AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bentonville AR, check that they are available 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bentonville Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bentonville AR.