How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Andalusia Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Andalusia AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Andalusia AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Andalusia AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Andalusia AL employers look for certification before employing 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Andalusia AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind 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 if you will be commuting from Andalusia AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Andalusia AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Andalusia AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Andalusia AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist 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 high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Andalusia AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Andalusia AL, make sure they are offered 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Andalusia AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Andalusia Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Andalusia Alabama.