How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Lanett Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Lanett 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 important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Lanett AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Lanett AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, 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 elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Lanett AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist 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.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion 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 may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Lanett AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Lanett AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Lanett AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Lanett AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Lanett AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Lanett AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only 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 on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Lanett AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Lanett Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lanett Alabama.