How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Gadsden Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Gadsden AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Gadsden AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Gadsden AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Gadsden AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Gadsden AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Gadsden AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Gadsden AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Gadsden 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 check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances 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 learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Gadsden AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gadsden AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Gadsden AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled 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 Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Gadsden AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Gadsden Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gadsden Alabama.