How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Phenix City AL
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Phenix City AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering 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 talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal 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 Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Phenix City AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Phenix City AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Phenix City AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Phenix City AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant 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 phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely 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 exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Phenix City AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Phenix City AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Phenix City Alabama
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phenix City AL.