How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Gadsden AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Gadsden AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Gadsden AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Gadsden AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Gadsden AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Gadsden AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose 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 superior 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 best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Gadsden AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working 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 choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Gadsden AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Gadsden AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Gadsden AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Gadsden AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Gadsden Alabama
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gadsden AL.