Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician School Edwardsville Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Edwardsville AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Edwardsville AL area laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama workplaces are many and diverse, including Edwardsville hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Edwardsville area junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Alabama employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior 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 Classes
To start with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Edwardsville students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 college is important in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the Alabamacolleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential Edwardsville employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Edwardsville local clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the Alabama colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Edwardsville healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Edwardsville area health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Edwardsville, check that they are available 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 need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Select the Best Phlebotomist Course Edwardsville ALMaking sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.