How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Madison AL
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Madison AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to 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 evaluating 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 resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Madison AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Madison AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest 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. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Madison AL employers look for certification before employing 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Madison AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea 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 certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Madison AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Madison AL hospitals or clinics that you may 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 submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Madison AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Madison AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Madison Alabama
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist 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 go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Madison AL.