How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Phenix City AL
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Phenix City AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Phenix City AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Phenix City AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Phenix City AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Phenix City AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably 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 of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Phenix City AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the College'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 in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate 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 placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Phenix City AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask 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 working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools 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 practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Phenix City AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Phenix City Alabama
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phenix City AL.