How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Florence AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Florence AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot 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 should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Florence AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Florence AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Florence AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Florence AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy 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 picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Florence AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Florence AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, 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 all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Florence AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Florence AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Florence Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Florence AL.