How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Fort Payne Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Fort Payne AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Fort Payne AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Fort Payne AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Fort Payne AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out 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-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Fort Payne AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Fort Payne AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Fort Payne AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? 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 all colleges 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 assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Fort Payne AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish 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 expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Fort Payne AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Fort Payne AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Fort Payne AL, make certain they are available 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 certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Fort Payne AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Fort Payne Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fort Payne Alabama.