How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Phenix City AL
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Phenix City AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Phenix City AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Phenix City AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Phenix City AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Phenix City AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Phenix City AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to 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 enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Phenix City AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer 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 full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Phenix City AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to 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, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Phenix City Alabama
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phenix City AL.