How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Auburn AL
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Auburn AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Auburn AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Auburn AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Auburn AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Auburn AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive 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 attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to 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 meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits 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 sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting 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 prospective employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Auburn AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Auburn AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Auburn Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy 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 quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Auburn AL.