How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Daphne Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Daphne AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into 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's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly 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 lab 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Daphne AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Daphne AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Daphne AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Daphne AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 significant if you will be commuting from Daphne AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical 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 programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Daphne AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important 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 assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Daphne AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide 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 Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Daphne AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Daphne AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Daphne AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Daphne AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Daphne Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable 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 several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Daphne Alabama.