Picking a Phlebotomy Technician School Boykin Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Boykin AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Boykin AL area labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their Alabama work environments are numerous and diverse, including Boykin medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Boykin area junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Alabama employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. 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 offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get 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 approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Boykin students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you 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 picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the Alabamacolleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future Boykin employers in the 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Boykin local clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish 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 provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the Alabama programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Boykin health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at 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 college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Boykin area health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Boykin, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomy Program Boykin ALMaking sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.