How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Arab Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Arab AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin the process 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 online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to 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 evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Arab AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Arab AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Arab AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Arab AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Arab AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Arab AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Arab AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Arab AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arab AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Arab AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Arab AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Arab Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arab Alabama.