Picking a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program Dutton Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Dutton AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start 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 classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Dutton AL area labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Dutton medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Dutton area community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies 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 dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Dutton students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the Alabamacolleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to select 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 have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for 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 schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective Dutton employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Dutton local clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the Alabama schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Dutton medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Dutton area healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dutton, 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. Even if you have decided to attend 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 in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Find the Right Phlebotomy Program Dutton ALMaking certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.