How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Geneva Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Geneva AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 Geneva AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Geneva AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Geneva AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Geneva AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Geneva AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? 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 completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Geneva AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools 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 placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Geneva AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Geneva AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Geneva AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Geneva AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Geneva AL medical environments, 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 a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Geneva Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Geneva Alabama.