Choosing a Phlebotomy Course Millbrook Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Millbrook AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, 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 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 in fact work in Millbrook AL area labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their Alabama work environments are many and diverse, such as Millbrook medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Millbrook area junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Alabama employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers 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 Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Millbrook students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic 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 want 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 tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the Alabamaschools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality 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 obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective Millbrook employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Millbrook local hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the Alabama schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Millbrook health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Millbrook area healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Millbrook, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomy College Millbrook ALMaking certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.