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How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Jackson Alabama

Jackson Alabama phlebotomist drawing blood from man's armPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Jackson AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.

Phlebotomist Work Description

Jackson Alabama phlebotomist examining blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 in fact work in Jackson AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Jackson AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

Jackson Alabama phlebotomist testing a blood sampleThere are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Jackson AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

sample of blood in test tube Jackson AlabamaTo begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Jackson AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Jackson AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely 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 any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits 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 sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Jackson AL job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little 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 the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Jackson AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Jackson AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Jackson AL health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jackson AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Learn More About Jackson Phlebotomy Schools

Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?

Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Jackson AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.

Pick the Best Jackson Phlebotomy Course

Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health 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 provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jackson Alabama.


 

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