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Become a Phlebotomist in Gadsden Alabama

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Gadsden AL

Gadsden AL phlebotomy tech drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomist school near Gadsden AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal 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 Work Summary

Gadsden AL phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Gadsden AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Gadsden AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Gadsden AL labThere are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once 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 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Schools

Gadsden AL student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Gadsden AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to 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 selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Gadsden AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Gadsden AL phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 advantages 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 take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, 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 a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Gadsden AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Gadsden AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL healthcare community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gadsden AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Gadsden Alabama

Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gadsden AL.