How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Madison AL
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Madison AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation 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 should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Madison AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest 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 do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Madison AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Madison AL employers look for certification before 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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 part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Madison AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select 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 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.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Madison AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those 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 place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some 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 contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Madison AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Madison AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Madison Alabama
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Madison AL.