How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near East Florence AL
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near East Florence AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much 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 must 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 assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest 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 most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with 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 phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most East Florence AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many East Florence AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind 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 significant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to 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 check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local East Florence AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing 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 an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to 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, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near East Florence Alabama
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence AL.