Choosing a Phlebotomist School Moundville Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Moundville AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Moundville AL area labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work places are numerous and diverse, such as Moundville medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind 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 newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally 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 phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Moundville area community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Alabama employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Moundville students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 important as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the Alabamacolleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective Moundville employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Moundville local clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the Alabama colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Moundville medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Moundville area medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accomodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Moundville, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Course Moundville ALMaking certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.