How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Dothan AL
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Dothan AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Dothan AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Dothan AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Dothan AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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 can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Dothan AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify 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 clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Dothan AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Dothan AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Dothan AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. 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 Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Dothan AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dothan AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Dothan Alabama
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dothan AL.