How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Citronelle Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Citronelle AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes 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 reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Citronelle AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Citronelle AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Citronelle AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Citronelle AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Citronelle AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require 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 may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Citronelle AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Citronelle AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 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 furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Citronelle AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Citronelle AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Citronelle AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Citronelle AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Citronelle Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Citronelle Alabama.