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How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Foley Alabama

Foley Alabama phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Foley AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.

Phlebotomy Tech Job Description

Foley Alabama phlebotomy tech examining blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Foley AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Foley AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing

Foley Alabama phlebotomy technician examining a blood sampleThere are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Foley AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

sample of blood in test tube Foley AlabamaTo start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Foley AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 Foley AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 any exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Foley AL job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Foley AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide 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 schools are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Foley AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Foley AL medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Foley AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Learn More About Foley Phlebotomy Classes

Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?

Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Foley AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.

Choose the Best Foley Phlebotomy Training

Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Foley Alabama.


 

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