How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Grayson Valley Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Grayson Valley AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Grayson Valley AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Grayson Valley AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. 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.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Grayson Valley 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 Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Grayson Valley AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 Grayson Valley AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing 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 phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Grayson Valley AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Grayson Valley AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Grayson Valley AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Grayson Valley AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Grayson Valley AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Grayson Valley AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous 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, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Grayson Valley Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Grayson Valley Alabama.