How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Glencoe Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Glencoe AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Glencoe AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Glencoe AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Glencoe AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Glencoe AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Glencoe AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs 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 requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Glencoe AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Glencoe AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Glencoe AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Glencoe AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Glencoe AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Glencoe AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Glencoe Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Glencoe Alabama.