How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Eufaula Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Eufaula AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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 actually work in Eufaula AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Eufaula AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Eufaula AL employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Eufaula AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend 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 Eufaula AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Eufaula AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer 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 also. You can even check with several Eufaula AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Eufaula AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job 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 school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Eufaula AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Eufaula AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Eufaula AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care 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 patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Eufaula Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Eufaula Alabama.