How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Dothan AL
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Dothan AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Dothan AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Dothan AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically 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 phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Dothan AL employers look for certification prior to employing 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Dothan AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Dothan AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Dothan AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Dothan AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dothan AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Dothan Alabama
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. 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 school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Dothan AL.