How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Centre Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Centre AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection 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 reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Centre AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Centre AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Centre AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Centre AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
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 selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Centre AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting 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 potential employers in the Centre AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Centre AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Centre AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot 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 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 together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Centre AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Centre AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Centre AL medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Centre Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Centre Alabama.