How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Auburn Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Auburn AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, 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 right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Auburn AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Auburn AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Auburn AL employers require certification before hiring 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Auburn AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Auburn AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing 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 need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. 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 online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Auburn AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Auburn AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Auburn AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Auburn Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Auburn Alabama.