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Become a Phlebotomist in East Florence Alabama

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near East Florence AL

East Florence AL phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near East Florence AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to 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 then continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Job Description

East Florence AL phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in East Florence AL laboratoryThere are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many East Florence AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Schools

East Florence Alabama student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a basic understanding 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 school is significant 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 phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL health care community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Florence AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 emergencies or illness.

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Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near East Florence Alabama

Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.