How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Gadsden AL
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Gadsden AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Gadsden AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Gadsden AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Gadsden AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Gadsden AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws 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 performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick 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 superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Gadsden AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Gadsden AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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 phlebotomy 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Gadsden AL health care community. And they look good 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. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Gadsden AL, make sure 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right 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 healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gadsden AL.