How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near East Florence AL
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near East Florence AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search 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 a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so 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. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as East Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working 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 variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many East Florence AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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 component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as 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 is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local East Florence AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study 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 in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near East Florence Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence AL.