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Become a Phlebotomist in Pine Bluff Arkansas

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School near Pine Bluff AR

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Pine Bluff AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Pine Bluff AR labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Pine Bluff AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively 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 setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Pine Bluff AR laboratoryThere are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Pine Bluff AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Pine Bluff AR student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Pine Bluff AR students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality 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 ideal choice for you.

Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Pine Bluff AR medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, 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 Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Pine Bluff AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

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

Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pine Bluff AR.