How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Madison Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Madison AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Madison AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Madison AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree 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 offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy 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 not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Madison AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Madison AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Madison AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, 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 colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Madison AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. 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 Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Madison AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most 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 Madison AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, check that they are offered 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 attend online, with the practical 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 Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Madison AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Madison Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to 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 select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Madison Alabama.