How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Phenix City AL
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Phenix City AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Phenix City AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Phenix City AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Phenix City AL employers require certification before hiring 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, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed 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-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Phenix City AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Phenix City AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested 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 grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Phenix City Alabama
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phenix City AL.