Picking a Phlebotomy School Brent Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Brent AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at 2 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 more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 in fact work in Brent AL area labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work environments are numerous and varied, including Brent medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain 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. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Brent area junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Alabama employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Brent students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the Alabamaschools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future Brent employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Brent local hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact 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? 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 clinical and classroom. 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the Alabama schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Brent medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Brent area medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accomodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brent, make sure they are offered 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed 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 Right Phlebotomy School Brent ALMaking sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, 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 accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.