How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Hokes Bluff Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Hokes Bluff AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Hokes Bluff AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Hokes Bluff AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Hokes Bluff AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 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 imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Hokes Bluff AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Hokes Bluff AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hokes Bluff AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Hokes Bluff AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted 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 working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hokes Bluff AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hokes Bluff AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hokes Bluff AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Hokes Bluff AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably 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.
Choose the Right Hokes Bluff Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hokes Bluff Alabama.