Picking a Phlebotomist Course Talladega Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Talladega AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose 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 schools.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Talladega AL area labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their Alabama work places are many and varied, such as Talladega medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Talladega area community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Alabama employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Talladega students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose 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 quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the Alabamaprograms you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national 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 aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future Talladega employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Talladega local hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the Alabama schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Talladega healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Talladega area medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Talladega, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy College Talladega ALMaking sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.