How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Lincoln Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Lincoln AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. 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 pick 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 Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Lincoln AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Lincoln AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic 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 incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Lincoln AL employers look for 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Lincoln AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
What 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 selected 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 important if you will be commuting from Lincoln AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Lincoln AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Lincoln AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Lincoln AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Lincoln AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lincoln AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Lincoln AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Lincoln Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lincoln Alabama.