How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Mobile AL
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Mobile AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Mobile AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Mobile AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working 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 blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Mobile AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Mobile AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Mobile AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Mobile AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Mobile AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Mobile AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Mobile AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Mobile Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mobile AL.