How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Meridianville Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Meridianville AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Meridianville AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Meridianville AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Meridianville AL employers look for certification before employing 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist 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 Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Meridianville AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind 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 Meridianville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Meridianville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Meridianville AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Meridianville AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Meridianville AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Meridianville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Meridianville AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Meridianville Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Meridianville Alabama.