How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Auburn AL
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Auburn AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. 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 select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Auburn AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Auburn AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Auburn AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Auburn AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Auburn AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might 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 if you will be commuting from Auburn AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement 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, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Auburn AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Auburn AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Auburn Alabama
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered 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 medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Auburn AL.