Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School Foley Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Foley AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Foley AL area laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama workplaces are many and diverse, including Foley hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Foley area community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Alabama employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Foley students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Alabamacolleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example 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 quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future Foley employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Foley area hospitals or clinics 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the Alabama programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Foley health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Foley area health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Foley, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School Foley ALMaking certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.