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Become a Phlebotomist in Phenix City Alabama

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Phenix City AL

Phenix City AL phlebotomy tech drawing bloodPicking the right phlebotomy training near Phenix City AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply 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 then continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Phenix City AL phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 Phenix City AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Phenix City AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending 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 drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Phenix City AL labThere are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy 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 fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Phenix City AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Phenix City Alabama student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Phenix City AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Phenix City AL job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous 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 essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start 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 as well. You can even talk to a few 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 final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Phenix City AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL healthcare community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. 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. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 due to illness or emergencies.

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Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Phenix City Alabama

Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to 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 best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phenix City AL.