How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Alexandria Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Alexandria AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Alexandria AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Alexandria AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Alexandria AL employers require 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Alexandria AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want 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 Alexandria AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school 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 administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Alexandria AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Alexandria AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Alexandria AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alexandria AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Alexandria AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Alexandria AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Alexandria Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alexandria Alabama.