How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Atmore Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Atmore AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. 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 select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Atmore AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Atmore AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect 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 collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Atmore AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed 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-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Atmore AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Atmore AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized 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 program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Atmore AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Atmore AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer 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 Enough Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing 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 considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Atmore AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Atmore AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Atmore AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Atmore AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights 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 may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Atmore Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Atmore Alabama.