How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Chickasaw Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Chickasaw AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive 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 factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding 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 too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Chickasaw AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Chickasaw AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working 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 range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Chickasaw AL employers require certification before employing 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Chickasaw AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Chickasaw AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 an assurance of a superior 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Chickasaw AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Chickasaw AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Chickasaw AL healthcare community. And they look good 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. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chickasaw AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chickasaw AL, check that 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Chickasaw AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Chickasaw Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chickasaw Alabama.