How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Gadsden AL
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Gadsden AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should 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 reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Gadsden AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Gadsden AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Gadsden AL employers require certification before 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical 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. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Gadsden AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy 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 means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely 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 examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Gadsden AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Gadsden AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Gadsden AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Gadsden AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Gadsden Alabama
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gadsden AL.