How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Auburn AL
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Auburn AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Auburn AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Auburn AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, 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 newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Auburn AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Auburn AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Auburn AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Auburn AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Auburn Alabama
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Auburn AL.