How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Enterprise Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Enterprise AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Enterprise AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Enterprise AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Enterprise AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Enterprise AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Enterprise AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for 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 not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Enterprise AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Enterprise AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 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? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Enterprise AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Enterprise AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make certain they are offered 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Enterprise AL medical facilities, 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 a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Enterprise Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Enterprise Alabama.