How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Greenville Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Greenville AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online 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 far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Greenville AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Greenville AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy 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 under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Greenville AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Greenville AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Greenville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Greenville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Greenville AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Greenville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Greenville AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Greenville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Greenville AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights 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 could be the right profession for you.
Pick the Right Greenville Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Greenville Alabama.