How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Chelsea Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Chelsea AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important 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 including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Chelsea AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Chelsea AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Chelsea AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Chelsea AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Chelsea AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Chelsea AL job market.
What is the Program'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 along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Chelsea AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Chelsea AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chelsea AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chelsea AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Chelsea AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who hate 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, nights 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 profession for you.
Choose the Right Chelsea Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chelsea Alabama.