How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Mobile AL
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Mobile AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal 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 tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Mobile AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Mobile AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together 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 phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Mobile AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Mobile AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Mobile AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Mobile AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 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 examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Mobile AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Mobile AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend 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, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Mobile Alabama
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mobile AL.