How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Fayette Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Fayette AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of 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 consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Fayette AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Fayette AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, 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 instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four 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 mandated in most states, most Fayette AL employers require certification before hiring 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as 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 superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Fayette AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Fayette AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, 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 hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Fayette AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Fayette AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Fayette AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fayette AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fayette AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need 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 blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fayette AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Fayette Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayette Alabama.