How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Madison Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Madison AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Madison AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Madison AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers 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 Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Madison AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Madison AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Madison AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Madison AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Madison AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Madison AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Madison AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Madison Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Madison Alabama.