How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Leeds Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Leeds AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. 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 choose the right 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 Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Leeds AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Leeds AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Leeds AL employers require certification before employing 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Leeds AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Leeds AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Leeds AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Leeds AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Leeds AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Leeds AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Leeds AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 clinical 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 have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Leeds AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who don’t like 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 needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Leeds Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Leeds Alabama.