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Become a Phlebotomist in Prattville Alabama

How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Prattville AL

Prattville AL phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomist training near Prattville AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Prattville AL phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Prattville AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest 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 do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Prattville 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 seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Prattville AL laboratoryThere are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Prattville AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Prattville Alabama woman attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Prattville AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college 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 superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prattville AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

What to ask Prattville AL phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Prattville AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, 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 quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prattville AL job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Prattville AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prattville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prattville AL health care community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prattville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Prattville Alabama

Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prattville AL.