How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Fairhope Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Fairhope AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Fairhope AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Fairhope AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting 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 different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Fairhope AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Fairhope AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 significant if you will be commuting from Fairhope AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Fairhope AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Fairhope AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Fairhope AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairhope AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairhope AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be 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 Fairhope AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 right job for you.
Pick the Right Fairhope Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairhope Alabama.