How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Columbiana Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Columbiana AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Columbiana AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Columbiana AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Columbiana AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Columbiana AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Columbiana AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Columbiana AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Columbiana AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with 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 Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Columbiana AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Columbiana AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Columbiana AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Columbiana AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. 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 needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Columbiana Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Columbiana Alabama.