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Become a Phlebotomist in Auburn Alabama

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Auburn AL

Auburn AL phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Auburn AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must 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 pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Career Summary

Auburn AL phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Auburn AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Auburn AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Auburn AL labThere are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Auburn AL employers look for certification before 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Auburn AL student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out 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 portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Auburn AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course 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 probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like 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 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 may be the perfect job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Questions to ask Auburn AL phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend 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 phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Auburn AL job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Auburn AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide 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 Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Auburn AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college 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? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Auburn Alabama

Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Auburn AL.