How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Haleyville Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Haleyville AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes 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 variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Haleyville AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Haleyville AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Haleyville AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick 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
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted 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. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Haleyville AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Haleyville AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Haleyville AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Haleyville AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Haleyville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Haleyville AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Haleyville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Haleyville AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Haleyville Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Haleyville Alabama.