How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near East Florence AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near East Florence AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in East Florence AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most East Florence AL employers look for certification before 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other East Florence AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 relevant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact 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 Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
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 programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Florence AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near East Florence Alabama
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence AL.