How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Florence AL
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Florence AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Florence AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Florence AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, 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 tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality 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. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Florence AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you may 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 find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Florence AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Florence AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Florence AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Florence Alabama
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Florence AL.