Picking a Phlebotomy Technician Course Opelika Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Opelika AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far 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 data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Opelika AL area labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work places are many and diverse, such as Opelika medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Opelika area community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available 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 get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Alabama employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Opelika students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish 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 decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the Alabamaschools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have 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 prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective Opelika employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Opelika area hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the Alabama programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Opelika health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Opelika area healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Opelika, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, 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 clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy College Opelika ALMaking certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.