How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Phenix City AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Phenix City AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss 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 significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Phenix City AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Phenix City AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Phenix City AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 California and Nevada. 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 furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Phenix City AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. 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 Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Phenix City AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Phenix City AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college 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? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend 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, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Phenix City Alabama
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phenix City AL.