How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Chelsea Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Chelsea AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to 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 assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Chelsea AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Chelsea AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Chelsea AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Chelsea AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Chelsea AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Chelsea AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Chelsea AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Chelsea AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chelsea AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chelsea AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Chelsea AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Chelsea Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chelsea Alabama.