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Become a Phlebotomist in Florence Alabama

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Florence AL

Florence AL phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Florence AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary

Florence AL phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Florence AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Florence AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Florence AL labThere are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. 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 no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Florence AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Colleges

Florence Alabama student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many 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, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Florence AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable 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 an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Florence AL job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable 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 Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Florence AL health care community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Florence AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Florence Alabama

Florence AL phlebotomy laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program 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 right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Florence AL.