How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near East Florence AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near East Florence AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many 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 babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most East Florence AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other East Florence AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few East Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full 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 classroom and practical. At 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 practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local East Florence AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, make sure they are available 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 study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near East Florence Alabama
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. 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 school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence AL.