How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Elba Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Elba AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Elba AL labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Elba AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Elba AL employers look for certification before 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Elba AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Elba AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking 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 programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Elba AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Elba AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges 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 frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Elba AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Elba AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Elba AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, 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 clinical 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 need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Elba AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Elba Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Elba Alabama.