How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Eufaula Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Eufaula AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important 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 should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Eufaula AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Eufaula AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns 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 work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Eufaula AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Eufaula AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Eufaula AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Eufaula AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Eufaula AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. 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 Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Eufaula AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Eufaula AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eufaula AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. 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 ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Eufaula AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Eufaula Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Eufaula Alabama.