Choosing a Phlebotomist School Horton Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Horton AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search 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 nearby campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should 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 reviewing to help you pick 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 training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Horton AL area laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their Alabama work places are numerous and diverse, such as Horton hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with 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, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Horton area community and junior colleges, they normally require two 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 probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Alabama employers look for certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t receive 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 on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Horton students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select 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 quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 important in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the Alabamacolleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? 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 amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working 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 respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential Horton employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Horton area hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. 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 Sufficient Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the Alabama programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Horton healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Horton area health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Horton, make sure 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School Horton ALMaking sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.