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Become a Phlebotomist in Pine Bluff Arkansas

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

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomist school near Pine Bluff AR is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Job Description

Pine Bluff AR phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Pine Bluff AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Pine Bluff AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Pine Bluff AR labThere are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Pine Bluff AR employers require certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Training

Pine Bluff Arkansas woman 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 practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Pine Bluff AR students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now 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 decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Pine Bluff AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

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

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR health care community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree 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 an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pine Bluff AR.