How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Hokes Bluff Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Hokes Bluff AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Hokes Bluff AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Hokes Bluff AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as 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 include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Hokes Bluff AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Hokes Bluff AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Hokes Bluff AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need 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 working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hokes Bluff AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, 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 place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Hokes Bluff AL clinics or hospitals that you may 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 ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Hokes Bluff AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Hokes Bluff AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hokes Bluff 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Hokes Bluff AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Hokes Bluff Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hokes Bluff Alabama.