How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Boaz Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Boaz AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review 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 variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose 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 classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Boaz AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Boaz AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment 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 essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Boaz AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Boaz AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Boaz AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams 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 agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Boaz AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Boaz AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Boaz AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Boaz AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Boaz AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Boaz AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Boaz Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Boaz Alabama.