How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Montgomery AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Montgomery AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Montgomery AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Montgomery AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively 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 setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Montgomery AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Montgomery AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national 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 learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Montgomery AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Montgomery AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting 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 need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Montgomery AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Montgomery AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest 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 complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Montgomery AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Montgomery AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Montgomery AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Montgomery Alabama
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Montgomery AL.