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Become a Phlebotomist in East Florence Alabama

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near East Florence AL

East Florence AL phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomist school near East Florence AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant 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 should 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Work Summary

East Florence AL phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out 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 in fact work in East Florence AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as East Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in East Florence AL labThere are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available 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 provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many East Florence AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees

East Florence Alabama student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical 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 phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the East Florence AL job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential 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 graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see 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 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL health care community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

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Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near East Florence Alabama

Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.