How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near East Florence AL
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near East Florence AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including East Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of East Florence AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to 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, confirm it is an option also. And 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near East Florence Alabama
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.