How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near East Florence AL
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near East Florence AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can 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 in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting 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 collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most East Florence AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you 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 selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important 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. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting 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 considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable 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 program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering 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 may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot 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, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, 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? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night 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, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near East Florence Alabama
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.