How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Phenix City AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Phenix City AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as 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 reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Phenix City AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Phenix City AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Phenix City AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Phenix City AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Phenix City AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Phenix City AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. 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 Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Phenix City AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Phenix City Alabama
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phenix City AL.