Choosing a Phlebotomist School near Pine Bluff Arkansas
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Pine Bluff AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Pine Bluff AR area laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Pine Bluff AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing 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 range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Pine Bluff AR junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Pine Bluff AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Pine Bluff AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the Pine Bluff AR colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional 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 superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Pine Bluff AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the Pine Bluff AR training program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Pine Bluff AR medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Pine Bluff health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, 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 medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even 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 have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Pine Bluff AR?
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 2016 estimates showing a decline to 43,841.
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.
The city of Pine Bluff was founded by Europeans on a high bank of the Arkansas River heavily forested with tall pine trees. The high ground furnished settlers a safe haven from annual flooding. Joseph Bonne, a Métis fur trader and trapper of mixed Quapaw and colonial French ancestry, settled on this bluff in 1819.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy School near Pine Bluff AR
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pine Bluff AR.
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