Choosing a Phlebotomist Course Somerville Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Somerville AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Somerville AL area labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their Alabama work places are many and varied, such as Somerville medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Somerville area junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Alabama employers look for certification prior to employing 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Somerville students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive 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 best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you 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 type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the Alabamaprograms you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective Somerville employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Somerville local hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the Alabama schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Somerville health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Somerville area health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Somerville, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Find the Right Phlebotomist Program Somerville ALMaking sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices 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.