How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Bentonville AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Bentonville AR is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Bentonville AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working 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 range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Bentonville AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Bentonville AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program 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 receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bentonville AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Bentonville AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Bentonville AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school 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 along with a large network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bentonville AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And 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 should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bentonville Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bentonville AR.