How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Bentonville AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Bentonville AR is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bentonville AR labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Bentonville AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Bentonville AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Bentonville AR students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type 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 in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All 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 making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, 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 College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Bentonville AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed 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 learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at 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 indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bentonville AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bentonville AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Bentonville Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bentonville AR.