How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Phenix City AL
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Phenix City AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right 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 Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Phenix City AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Phenix City AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible 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 get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Phenix City AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Phenix City AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Phenix City AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you 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 selected 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 significant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? 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 along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Phenix City AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Phenix City AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer 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 program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phenix City AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Phenix City Alabama
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phenix City AL.