How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Mobile AL
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Mobile AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Mobile AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Mobile AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Mobile AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Mobile AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Mobile AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Mobile AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Mobile AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Mobile AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mobile AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Mobile Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mobile AL.