How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Princeton AL
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Princeton AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Princeton AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as 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 infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Princeton AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Princeton AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Princeton AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Princeton AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Princeton AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Princeton AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help 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 looking at 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 jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Princeton AL, check that 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Princeton Alabama
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit 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 need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Princeton AL.