How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near Auburn AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Auburn AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation 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 assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify 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 data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Auburn AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Auburn AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Auburn AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Auburn AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Auburn AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Auburn AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing 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 offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Auburn AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most 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 medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Auburn Alabama
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Auburn AL.