How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Guntersville Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Guntersville AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. 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 choose 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 classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to 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 process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Guntersville AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Guntersville AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Guntersville AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Guntersville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Guntersville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Guntersville AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Guntersville 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 check with 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 Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Guntersville AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Guntersville AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Guntersville AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Guntersville AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with 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 required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Guntersville Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Guntersville Alabama.