How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Meridianville Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Meridianville AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Meridianville AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Meridianville AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians 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 Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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 community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Meridianville AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Meridianville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming 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 previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Meridianville AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Meridianville AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Meridianville AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering 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 might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Meridianville AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 together with a large network of professional contacts within the Meridianville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Meridianville AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Meridianville AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and 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 may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Meridianville Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Meridianville Alabama.