How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Midfield Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Midfield AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Midfield AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Midfield AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Midfield AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Midfield AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in 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 quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Midfield AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need 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 working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Midfield 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 imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Midfield AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Midfield AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Midfield AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Midfield AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Midfield AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with 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 Midfield Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as 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 somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Midfield Alabama.