How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near East Florence AL
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near East Florence AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot 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 need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting 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 accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in East Florence AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as 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 phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most East Florence AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school 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 quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other East Florence AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need 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 readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with 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 looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local East Florence 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. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near East Florence Alabama
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.