How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Childersburg Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Childersburg AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Childersburg AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Childersburg AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Childersburg AL employers look for certification prior to 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Childersburg AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Childersburg AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional 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. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Childersburg AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Childersburg AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Childersburg AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Childersburg AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Childersburg AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Childersburg AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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 perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Childersburg Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Childersburg Alabama.