How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Demopolis Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Demopolis AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. 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 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 Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 actually work in Demopolis AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Demopolis AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Demopolis 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Demopolis AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Demopolis AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Demopolis AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Demopolis AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Demopolis AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Demopolis AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Demopolis AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Demopolis AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Demopolis Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Demopolis Alabama.