How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Highland Lakes Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Highland Lakes AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Highland Lakes AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Highland Lakes AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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 solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Highland Lakes AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Highland Lakes AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium 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 option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Highland Lakes AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting 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 programs you are looking at before 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. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Highland Lakes AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Highland Lakes AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Highland Lakes AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Highland Lakes AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Highland Lakes 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Highland Lakes AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Highland Lakes Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Highland Lakes Alabama.