How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Prattville AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Prattville AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much 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 selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 Prattville AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Prattville AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive 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 Prattville AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Prattville AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical 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 nervous in hospitals or other Prattville AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Prattville AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing 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 should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prattville AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Prattville AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Prattville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college 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 Prattville AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prattville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Prattville Alabama
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prattville AL.