How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Pine Bluff Arkansas
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Pine Bluff AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Pine Bluff AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Pine Bluff AR labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control 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 do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places 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 babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Pine Bluff AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical 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 part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Pine Bluff AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
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 chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, 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 has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any 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 assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Pine Bluff AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Pine Bluff AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, 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 medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, check that they are available 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Weekend Phlebotomist Programs Pine Bluff Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Weekend Phlebotomist Programs and to get more information regarding Local Phlebotomy Technician Colleges Near Me. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pine Bluff AR.
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Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Pine Bluff is the tenth-largest city in the state of Arkansas and the county seat of Jefferson County. It is the principal city of the Pine Bluff Metropolitan Statistical Area and part of the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Pine Bluff Combined Statistical Area. The population of the city was 49,083 in the 2010 Census with 2017 estimates showing a decline to 42,984.
The city is situated in the Southeast section of the Arkansas Delta and straddles the Arkansas Timberlands region to its west. Its topography is flat with wide expanses of farmland, consistent with other places in the Delta Lowlands. Pine Bluff has numerous creeks, streams, and bayous. (Bayou Bartholomew is the longest bayou in the world and is the second most-diverse stream in the United States). Large bodies of water include Lake Pine Bluff, Lake Langhofer (Slack Water Harbor), and the Arkansas River.
The area along the Arkansas River had been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous peoples of various cultures. They used the river for transportation as did European settlers after them, and for fishing. By the time of encounter with Europeans, the historical Quapaw were the chief people in the area, having migrated from the Ohio River valley centuries before.