How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Argo Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Argo AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze 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 receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Argo AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Argo AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Argo AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Argo AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). 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 degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
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 decided on 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Argo AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Argo AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Argo AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama 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 looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Argo AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Argo AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Argo AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Argo AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Argo Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Argo Alabama.