How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Alexander City Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Alexander City AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Alexander City AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Alexander City AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Alexander City AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Alexander City AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Alexander City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Alexander City AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Alexander City AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alexander City AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Alexander City AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Alexander City Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alexander City Alabama.