How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Madison AL
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Madison AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot 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 need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Madison AL labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Madison AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Madison AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Madison AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school 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 online phlebotomy program. Each 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 several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. 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 Reputation? 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 important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Madison AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Madison AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most 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 medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Madison AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Madison Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Madison AL.