How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Headland Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Headland AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Headland AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Headland AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Headland AL employers look for certification before employing 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Headland AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish 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 Headland AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Headland AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references 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 organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Headland 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 contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Headland AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Headland AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Headland AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of 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 nervous in hospitals or other Headland AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical 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 may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Headland Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Headland Alabama.