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Become a Phlebotomist in Pine Bluff Arkansas

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Pine Bluff AR

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Pine Bluff AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly 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 lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Pine Bluff AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Pine Bluff AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Pine Bluff AR laboratoryThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route 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 to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Pine Bluff AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like 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 provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees

Pine Bluff AR woman attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Pine Bluff AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school 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 superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Pine Bluff AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify 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 partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR healthcare community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomist lab blood testingMaking sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. 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 proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pine Bluff AR.