Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program Spring Garden Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Spring Garden AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
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 drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 Spring Garden AL area laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work places are many and varied, including Spring Garden hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along 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, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Spring Garden area community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Alabama employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomist 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.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Spring Garden students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the Alabamacolleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential Spring Garden employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Spring Garden area clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the Alabama programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Spring Garden healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Spring Garden area health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accomodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Spring Garden, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist College Spring Garden ALMaking sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist.