How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Columbiana Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Columbiana AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Columbiana AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Columbiana AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest 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 incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Columbiana AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Columbiana AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 important if you will be commuting from Columbiana AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, 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 a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Columbiana AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Columbiana AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Columbiana AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority 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 Columbiana AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Columbiana AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Columbiana AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous 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, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Columbiana Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Columbiana Alabama.