How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near East Florence AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near East Florence AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many East Florence AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short 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 profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional 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 a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive 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 some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to 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. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near East Florence Alabama
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.