How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Auburn AL
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Auburn AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose 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 training.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Auburn AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Auburn AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Auburn AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Auburn AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Auburn AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Auburn AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Auburn AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask 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 positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Auburn Alabama
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Auburn AL.