How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near East Florence AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near East Florence AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as East Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of East Florence AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program 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 obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from East Florence AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local East Florence AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend 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. Even 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near East Florence Alabama
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.