How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Boaz Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Boaz AL is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Boaz AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Boaz AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Boaz AL employers look for certification prior to employing 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Boaz AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Boaz AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Boaz AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Boaz AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Boaz AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most 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 Boaz AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Boaz AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Boaz AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Boaz Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Boaz Alabama.