How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Bentonville AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Bentonville AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Bentonville AR laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous 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 all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Bentonville AR employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Bentonville AR students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bentonville AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Bentonville AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bentonville AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to 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, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Bentonville Arkansas
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bentonville AR.