How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Bentonville AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Bentonville AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bentonville AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Bentonville AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Bentonville AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Bentonville AR students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bentonville AR medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Topics 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 may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Bentonville AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. 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 School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Bentonville AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. 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 Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish 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 expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bentonville AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high 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 a large network of professional contacts within the Bentonville AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to 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. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Bentonville Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bentonville AR.