Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician School Alpine Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Alpine AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Alpine AL area labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their Alabama work places are numerous and varied, such as Alpine hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Alpine area junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Alabama employers look for certification before hiring 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Alpine students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the Alabamaschools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future Alpine employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 any schools 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 screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Alpine area clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the Alabama colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Alpine healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alpine area healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accomodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alpine, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomy Program Alpine ALMaking certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.