How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Daphne Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Daphne AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 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 also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Daphne AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Daphne AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Daphne AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Daphne AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Daphne AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Daphne AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Daphne AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Daphne AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide 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 college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Daphne AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Daphne 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 certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure 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 able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Daphne AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights 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 may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Daphne Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Daphne Alabama.