How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Dothan AL
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Dothan AL is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Dothan AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Dothan AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Dothan AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Dothan AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want 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 Dothan AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify 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 often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Dothan AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Dothan AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide 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 college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to 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, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Dothan Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dothan AL.