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Become a Phlebotomist in Pine Bluff Arkansas

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

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Pine Bluff AR is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Pine Bluff AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Pine Bluff AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Pine Bluff AR labThere are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Pine Bluff AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Colleges

Pine Bluff AR student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Pine Bluff AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed 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 select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Pine Bluff AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing 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 Plenty of Training Included? 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR healthcare community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomist laboratory blood testingMaking sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pine Bluff AR.