How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Bentonville AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Bentonville AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bentonville AR laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Bentonville AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Bentonville AR employers look for 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Bentonville AR students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bentonville AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to 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 final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bentonville AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to 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 on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Bentonville Arkansas
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bentonville AR.