How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Prattville AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Prattville AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prattville AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Prattville AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working 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 mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Prattville AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few 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 preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Prattville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Prattville AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select 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 program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Prattville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools 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 as well. You can even check with a few Prattville AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prattville AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
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 looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prattville AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prattville AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Prattville Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prattville AL.