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Become a Phlebotomist in Florence Alabama

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Florence AL

Florence AL phlebotomy tech drawing bloodPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Florence AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Career Description

Florence AL phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Florence AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Florence AL labThere are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Florence AL employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Colleges

Florence AL student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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 part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Florence AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Florence AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

What to ask Florence AL phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish 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 Florence AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working 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 phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Florence AL job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of 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 important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Florence AL medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Florence AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Florence Alabama

Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Florence AL.