How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near East Florence AL
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near East Florence AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online 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 far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as East Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked 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 collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most East Florence AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What 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 might have already chosen the kind of program you want 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 as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local East Florence AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Florence AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near East Florence Alabama
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence AL.