How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Dixiana Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Dixiana AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm 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. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. 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 in fact work in Dixiana AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Dixiana AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Dixiana AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Dixiana AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college 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 superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Dixiana AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, 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 Dixiana AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Dixiana AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Dixiana AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer 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 program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Dixiana AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Dixiana AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Dixiana AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Dixiana Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dixiana Alabama.