Choosing a Phlebotomy School Trenton Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Trenton AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Trenton AL area laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their Alabama work places are many and varied, including Trenton medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Trenton area junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Alabama employers look for certification before 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Trenton students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the Alabamaprograms you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, 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. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future Trenton employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Trenton local clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 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 comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the Alabama programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Trenton medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Trenton area healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accomodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Trenton, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist College Trenton ALMaking certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.