How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Glencoe Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Glencoe AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Glencoe AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Glencoe AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older 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 practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Glencoe AL employers look for certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Glencoe AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive 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 earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
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 may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Glencoe AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Glencoe AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin 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 solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Glencoe AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working 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 looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Glencoe AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent 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 ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glencoe AL, check that they are offered 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Glencoe AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Glencoe Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Glencoe Alabama.