How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near East Florence AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near East Florence AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should 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 afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as East Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many East Florence AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses 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 probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 campus 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 phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as 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 superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future 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 colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local East Florence AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near East Florence Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.