How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Grand Bay Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Grand Bay AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Grand Bay AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Grand Bay AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Grand Bay AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Grand Bay AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Grand Bay AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing 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 reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Grand Bay AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Grand Bay AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Grand Bay AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Grand Bay AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Grand Bay AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Grand Bay AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Grand Bay Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Grand Bay Alabama.