How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Prattville AL
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Prattville AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Prattville AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Prattville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Prattville AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Prattville AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. 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. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected 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 school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prattville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Prattville AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prattville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school 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 together with a large network of professional contacts within the Prattville AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prattville AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Prattville Alabama
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prattville AL.