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Become a Phlebotomist in Pine Bluff Arkansas

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

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomist drawing bloodEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Pine Bluff AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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.

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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Pine Bluff AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Pine Bluff AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Pine Bluff AR laboratoryThere are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Pine Bluff AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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, 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 provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Pine Bluff Arkansas student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Pine Bluff AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Pine Bluff AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

What to ask Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable 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 program in addition to a guarantee 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Pine Bluff AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR health care community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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 due to illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pine Bluff AR.