How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Mobile AL
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Mobile AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Mobile AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Mobile AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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 to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Mobile AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares 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 possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Mobile AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Mobile AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in 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 have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, 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 attractive to prospective employers in the Mobile AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Mobile AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see 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 full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Mobile AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mobile AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Mobile Alabama
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. 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 fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mobile AL.