Choosing a Phlebotomy Training Program near Benton Arkansas
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Benton AR is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into 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 far more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 in fact work in Benton AR area laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance 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 Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Benton 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 toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Benton AR community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation 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 Benton AR employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted 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. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Benton AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the Benton AR programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Benton AR job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 also. You can also contact some Benton AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the Benton AR training program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Benton AR medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Benton health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Benton AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Benton AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Benton AR?
Benton is a city in and the county seat of Saline County, Arkansas, United States and a suburb of Little Rock. It was established in 1837. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 30,681, making it the 12th largest city in the state of Arkansas. In 2017 the population was estimated at 35,789. It is part of the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city of Benton, first settled in 1833 and named after Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, was formally chartered in 1836 when Arkansas became a state.
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,906 people, 8,713 households, and 6,186 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,221.2 people per square mile (471.5/km²). There were 9,315 housing units at an average density of 519.3 per square mile (200.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.81% White, 4.46% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. 1.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 8,713 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near Benton AR
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Benton AR.
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