How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Phenix City AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Phenix City AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Phenix City AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Phenix City AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Phenix City AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Phenix City AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should 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. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Phenix City AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Phenix City AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Phenix City Alabama
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. 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 presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phenix City AL.