How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Dothan AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Dothan AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Dothan AL labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Dothan AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Dothan AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Dothan AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Dothan AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Dothan AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Dothan AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering 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 might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Dothan AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Dothan AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Dothan Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Dothan AL.