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Become a Phlebotomist in Auburn Alabama

How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Auburn AL

Auburn AL phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Auburn AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Auburn AL phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Auburn AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Auburn AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working 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 collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Auburn AL labThere are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Auburn AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Auburn AL student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Auburn AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example 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 superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Auburn AL job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Auburn AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Auburn AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job 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 percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL healthcare community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Auburn Alabama

Auburn AL phlebotomy lab blood testingMaking sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Auburn AL.