How to Find the Best Phlebotomy School near East Florence AL
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near East Florence AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including 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 babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular 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 mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most East Florence AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from East Florence AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering 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 available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local East Florence AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Florence AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near East Florence Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence AL.