Selecting a Phlebotomy Training Program Valley Head Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Valley Head AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Valley Head AL area labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work environments are many and varied, including Valley Head medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically 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, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Valley Head area junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Alabama employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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 handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams 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 misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum 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. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Valley Head students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the Alabamaprograms you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future Valley Head employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Valley Head area clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the Alabama colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Valley Head healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Valley Head area healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Valley Head, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist College Valley Head ALMaking sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.