How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Fort Payne Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Fort Payne AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Fort Payne AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Fort Payne AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing 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.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Fort Payne AL employers require certification prior to 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. 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 superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Fort Payne AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding 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 degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Fort Payne AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take 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 unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Fort Payne AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Fort Payne AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Fort Payne AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing 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 positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fort Payne AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fort Payne AL, make sure 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 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.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fort Payne AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Pick the Right Fort Payne Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fort Payne Alabama.