How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Citronelle Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Citronelle AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk 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 variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Citronelle AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Citronelle AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior 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 collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Citronelle AL employers require certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Citronelle AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want 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 Citronelle AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Citronelle AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Citronelle AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out 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 submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Citronelle AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out 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 the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Citronelle AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Citronelle AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Citronelle AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and 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.
Choose the Right Citronelle Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Citronelle Alabama.