How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Brook Highland Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Brook Highland AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Brook Highland AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, 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 Brook Highland AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific 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 mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Brook Highland AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional 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 examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Brook Highland AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program 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 obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Brook Highland AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality 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 often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Brook Highland AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of 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 essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Brook Highland AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Brook Highland AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Brook Highland AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brook Highland AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol 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 able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Brook Highland AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Brook Highland Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Brook Highland Alabama.