Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician School Jackson Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Jackson AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools 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 factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Jackson AL area laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work places are many and diverse, including Jackson medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at Jackson area community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Alabama employers require certification before 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps 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 Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Jackson students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the Alabamaprograms you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future Jackson employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Jackson area hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the Alabama programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Jackson medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Jackson area healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Jackson, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. 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 ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist College Jackson ALMaking sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.