How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Auburn AL
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Auburn AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Auburn AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Auburn AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing 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 Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Auburn AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Auburn AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online 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 might be the best option for you.
Points 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 may have already selected the type of program you intend 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. 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 several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Auburn AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask 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 total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Auburn AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Auburn Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Auburn AL.