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


Become a Phlebotomist in Pine Bluff Arkansas

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Pine Bluff AR

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientSelecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Pine Bluff AR is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.

Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area

Phlebotomist Work Summary

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Pine Bluff AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Pine Bluff AR labThere are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Pine Bluff AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Pine Bluff Arkansas woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Pine Bluff AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Pine Bluff AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Pine Bluff AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy laboratory blood testingMaking certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pine Bluff AR.