How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Mobile AL
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Mobile AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select 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 classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Mobile AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Mobile AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Mobile AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Mobile AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Mobile AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Mobile AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Mobile AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Mobile AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. 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 Ample Training Provided? First, check with 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask 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 receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Mobile AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Mobile AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Mobile Alabama
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mobile AL.