How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Mobile AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Mobile AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools 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 factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Mobile AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Mobile AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available 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 offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Mobile AL employers require certification prior to 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Mobile AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Mobile AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Mobile AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Mobile AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 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 expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Mobile AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Mobile AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Mobile Alabama
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mobile AL.