How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Princeton AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Princeton AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Princeton AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Princeton AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, 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 drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist 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 finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Princeton AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Princeton AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Princeton AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now 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 decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Princeton AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Princeton AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Princeton AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact 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? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Princeton AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, 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 important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Princeton AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Princeton Alabama
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care 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 can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Princeton AL.