How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near Brent Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Brent AL is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools 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 must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Brent AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Brent AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working 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 newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Brent 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies 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 resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Brent AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
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 picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Brent AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Brent AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Brent AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Brent AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Brent AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brent AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Brent AL medical facilities, well this profession 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 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 blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Brent Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brent Alabama.