How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Dothan AL
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Dothan AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Dothan AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Dothan AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Dothan AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Dothan AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people probably 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 naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Dothan AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable 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 phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Dothan AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Dothan AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dothan AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Dothan Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Dothan AL.