Choosing a Phlebotomy School Kinston Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Kinston AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember 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 significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Kinston AL area labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their Alabama workplaces are many and diverse, including Kinston hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route 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. Offered at Kinston area community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Alabama employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Kinston students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the Alabamaprograms you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future Kinston employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Kinston area clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the Alabama programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Kinston medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Kinston area medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kinston, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Select the Right Phlebotomy College Kinston ALMaking certain that you choose the most suitable 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 several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.