How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Gadsden AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Gadsden AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Gadsden AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Gadsden AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Gadsden AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Gadsden AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious 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. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Gadsden AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Gadsden AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing 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 Enough Training Provided? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Gadsden AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gadsden AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Gadsden Alabama
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gadsden AL.