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Become a Phlebotomist in Princeton Alabama

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Princeton AL

Princeton AL phlebotomy tech drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomist school near Princeton AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Princeton AL phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Princeton AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Princeton AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Princeton AL labThere are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Princeton AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Colleges

Princeton Alabama student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Princeton AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (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 dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 important if you will be commuting from Princeton AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized 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 a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Princeton AL job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Princeton AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. 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 total compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Princeton AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Princeton AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

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Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Princeton Alabama

Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Princeton AL.