How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Auburn AL
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Auburn AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to 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 assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Auburn AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Auburn AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Auburn AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Auburn AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Auburn AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted 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 looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Auburn AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority 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 Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Auburn Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Auburn AL.