How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Harvest Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Harvest AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Harvest AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Harvest AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Harvest AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Harvest AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Harvest AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to 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 amount of practical training performed before 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 select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Harvest AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Harvest AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out 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 filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Harvest AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Harvest AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Harvest AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Harvest AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Harvest Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Harvest Alabama.