How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Auburn AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Auburn AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal 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 Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Auburn AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Auburn AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Auburn AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Auburn AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered 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 extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Auburn AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind 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 significant if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review 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 offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted 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 amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Auburn AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Auburn Alabama
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Auburn AL.