Home >> Arkansas >> Pine Bluff >> Phlebotomist Training


Become a Phlebotomist in Pine Bluff Arkansas

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Pine Bluff AR

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Pine Bluff AR is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.

Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area

Phlebotomist Work Summary

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Pine Bluff AR laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Pine Bluff AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely 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, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Pine Bluff AR laboratoryThere are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Pine Bluff AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Pine Bluff AR woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Pine Bluff AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Pine Bluff AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR health care community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy lab blood analysisMaking certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pine Bluff AR.