How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Midfield Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Midfield AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind 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 significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to 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 Midfield AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Midfield AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Midfield AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Midfield AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Midfield AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist 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 be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Midfield AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Midfield AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total 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 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Midfield AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Midfield AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Midfield AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Midfield AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. 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 don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Midfield Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Midfield Alabama.