How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Demopolis Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Demopolis AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Demopolis AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Demopolis AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Demopolis AL employers look for certification before 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 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 select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Demopolis AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Demopolis AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Demopolis AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Demopolis AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Demopolis AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Demopolis AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Demopolis AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Demopolis AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Demopolis Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Demopolis Alabama.