Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School Anderson Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Anderson AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Anderson AL area laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their Alabama workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Anderson hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Anderson area community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Alabama employers require certification prior to 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior 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.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Anderson students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the Alabamacolleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality 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 agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective Anderson employers in the 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 along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Anderson area clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Alabama schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Anderson health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Anderson area medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anderson, 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. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Program Anderson ALMaking sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.