How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Jacksonville Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Jacksonville AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Jacksonville AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Jacksonville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older 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 samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Jacksonville AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Jacksonville AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 significant if you will be commuting from Jacksonville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Jacksonville AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Jacksonville AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Jacksonville AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Jacksonville AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jacksonville AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Jacksonville AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Jacksonville Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jacksonville Alabama.