How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Holt Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Holt AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Holt AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Holt AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Holt AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Holt AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend 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 Holt AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies 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 highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Holt AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students 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 check with a few Holt AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Holt AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer 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 an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Holt AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Holt AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Holt AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and 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 job for you.
Pick the Best Holt Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Holt Alabama.