How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near East Florence AL
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near East Florence AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. 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 remember 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 decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including East Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many East Florence AL employers require 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other East Florence AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish 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 online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, 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 obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near East Florence Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic 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 may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.