How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Boaz Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Boaz AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work 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 confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Boaz AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Boaz AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic 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 phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Boaz AL employers look for certification before hiring 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 important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect 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 part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Boaz AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (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 learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Boaz AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Boaz AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Boaz AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Boaz AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Boaz AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Boaz AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Boaz AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. 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 can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Boaz Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Boaz Alabama.