How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Greenville Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Greenville AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 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 online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, 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 has to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Greenville AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Greenville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Greenville AL employers look for certification prior to 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Greenville AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Greenville AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Greenville AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Greenville AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically 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 also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Greenville AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Greenville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Greenville AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected 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 could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Greenville Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Greenville Alabama.