How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Attalla Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Attalla AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Attalla AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Attalla 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. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Attalla AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Attalla AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Attalla AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Attalla AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Attalla AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Attalla AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Attalla AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Attalla AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Attalla AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Attalla Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Attalla Alabama.