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Become a Phlebotomist in Auburn Alabama

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Auburn AL

Auburn AL phlebotomist drawing bloodEnrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Auburn AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary

Auburn AL phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Auburn AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Auburn AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing 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 collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Auburn AL labThere are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Auburn AL employers require certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomist Online Classes

Auburn Alabama student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Auburn AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Auburn AL job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Auburn AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. 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 schools are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 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 comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Auburn AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL healthcare community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true 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, check that they are offered 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

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Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Auburn Alabama

Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Auburn AL.