How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Childersburg Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Childersburg AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Childersburg AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Childersburg AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Childersburg AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Childersburg AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Childersburg AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Childersburg AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Childersburg AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with 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 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 might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Childersburg AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Childersburg AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Childersburg AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Childersburg AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Childersburg Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Childersburg Alabama.