How to Select the Right Phlebotomy School near Princeton AL
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Princeton AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Princeton AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Princeton AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy 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 offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Princeton AL employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many 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 can be a more convenient option for many Princeton AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Princeton AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Princeton AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Princeton AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Princeton AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Princeton AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Princeton Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Princeton AL.