How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Madison Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Madison AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional 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 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 factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, 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 continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Madison AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Madison AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Madison AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Madison AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Madison AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Madison AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Madison AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested 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 full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Madison AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Madison AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Madison AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Madison AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Madison Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Madison Alabama.