How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near East Florence AL
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near East Florence AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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 phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. 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 a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire 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 the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along 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 ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near East Florence Alabama
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state 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 research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence AL.