How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Center Point Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Center Point AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 Center Point AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Center Point AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, 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 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Center Point AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Center Point AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Center Point AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Center Point AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement 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 Center Point AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Center Point AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Center Point AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Center Point AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Center Point AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Center Point Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Center Point Alabama.