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Become a Phlebotomist in Madison Alabama

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Madison AL

Madison AL phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the right phlebotomist school near Madison AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Madison AL phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although 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 used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Madison AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Madison AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely 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, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Madison AL labThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Madison AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Colleges

Madison Alabama woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed 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-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Madison AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Madison AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need 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 working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Madison AL job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Madison AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Madison AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Madison AL medical community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Madison AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Madison Alabama

Madison AL phlebotomy lab blood analysisMaking certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Madison AL.