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Become a Phlebotomist in Gadsden Alabama

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Gadsden AL

Gadsden AL phlebotomist drawing bloodEnrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Gadsden AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Gadsden AL phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Gadsden AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Gadsden AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Gadsden AL laboratoryThere are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Gadsden AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Gadsden Alabama student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Gadsden AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Gadsden AL job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Gadsden AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. 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 Ample Training Included? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Gadsden AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings 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 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 should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Gadsden Alabama

Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gadsden AL.