How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Princeton AL
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Princeton AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many 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 classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Princeton AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Princeton AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing 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 environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along 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 on becoming 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 offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Princeton AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Princeton AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Princeton AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable 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 program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Princeton AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little 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 investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Princeton AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish 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 furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Princeton AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to 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 sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Princeton Alabama
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Princeton AL.