How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Fultondale Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Fultondale AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential 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 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 remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to 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 filled out to be able 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Fultondale AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Fultondale AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working 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 drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Fultondale AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Fultondale AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend 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 Fultondale AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, 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 future employers in the Fultondale 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 those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Fultondale AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Fultondale AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Fultondale AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fultondale AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Fultondale AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around 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 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Fultondale Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fultondale Alabama.