How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near East Florence AL
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near East Florence AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many East Florence AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, 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 comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many 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 essential to check out the reputations of all 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. 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? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local East Florence AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning 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 healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near East Florence Alabama
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence AL.