How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Brewton Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Brewton AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Brewton AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Brewton AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Brewton AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Brewton AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive 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 earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Brewton AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking 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 each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in 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 a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Brewton AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Brewton AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Brewton AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Brewton AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brewton AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Brewton AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected 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 could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Brewton Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brewton Alabama.