How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School near Prattville AL
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Prattville AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prattville AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Prattville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility 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 exclusively. 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 different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Prattville AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Prattville AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Prattville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prattville AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 as well. You can also talk to some Prattville AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prattville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs 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 jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prattville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Prattville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Prattville Alabama
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prattville AL.