Selecting a Phlebotomy Course Normal Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Normal AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 actually work in Normal AL area labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work environments are many and varied, such as Normal medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older 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 drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Normal area community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Alabama employers look for certification prior to 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Normal students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects 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 might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Alabamaprograms you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future Normal employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Normal local 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 contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the Alabama colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Normal healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Normal area healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Normal, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Find the Right Phlebotomy Program Normal ALMaking certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.