How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Dothan AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training 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 school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Dothan AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using 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 do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Dothan AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, 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 under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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 usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Dothan AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Dothan AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining 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 start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Dothan AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Dothan AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Dothan AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer 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 school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Dothan AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Dothan Alabama
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dothan AL.