How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Phenix City AL
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Phenix City AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right 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 Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Phenix City AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Phenix City AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Phenix City AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as 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 furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Phenix City AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, 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 chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Phenix City AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. 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 can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 be able 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 frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Phenix City AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Phenix City AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Phenix City Alabama
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phenix City AL.