How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Brewton Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Brewton AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Brewton AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Brewton AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Brewton AL employers require certification prior to 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Brewton AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Brewton AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Brewton AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Brewton AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Brewton AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Brewton AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending 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. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Brewton AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. 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 don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Brewton Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist 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 several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important 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 fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brewton Alabama.