How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Madison AL
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Madison AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest 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 provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Madison AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Madison AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Madison AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Madison AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Madison AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind 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 Madison AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium 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 obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal 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 all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Madison AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances 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 working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Madison AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Madison AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And 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 should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Madison Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Madison AL.