Selecting a Phlebotomist School Lenox Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Lenox AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Lenox AL area laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work places are many and varied, such as Lenox medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can 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 collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete 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 phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at Lenox area junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Alabama employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Lenox students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the Alabamacolleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing 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 select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future Lenox employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Lenox area clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing 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 furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the Alabama colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Lenox healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Lenox area health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accomodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lenox, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Course Lenox ALMaking certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.