How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Jackson Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Jackson AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Jackson AL labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Jackson AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Jackson AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Jackson AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Jackson AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Jackson AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Jackson AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Jackson AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Jackson AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jackson AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Jackson AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Jackson Phlebotomy Course
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Jackson Alabama.