How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Lanett Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Lanett AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Lanett AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Lanett AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Lanett AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good 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. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Lanett AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Lanett AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. 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 arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Lanett AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Lanett AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Lanett AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Lanett AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lanett AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Lanett AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Lanett Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lanett Alabama.