How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School near Demopolis Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Demopolis AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Demopolis AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Demopolis AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Demopolis AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Demopolis AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Demopolis AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Demopolis AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Demopolis AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Demopolis AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Demopolis AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Demopolis AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Demopolis AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Demopolis Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Demopolis Alabama.