How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Jackson Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Jackson AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples 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 needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Jackson AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many 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 phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples 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 practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Jackson AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Jackson AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Jackson AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations 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 practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Jackson AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Jackson AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Jackson AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher 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 Jackson AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jackson AL, make certain they are offered 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Jackson AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights 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 could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Jackson Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jackson Alabama.