How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Jackson Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Jackson AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Jackson AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Jackson AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Jackson AL employers require certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Jackson AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish 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 Jackson AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Jackson AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin 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 organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Jackson AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Jackson AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Jackson AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Jackson AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Jackson AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Jackson Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree 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 courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jackson Alabama.