How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Millbrook Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Millbrook AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Millbrook AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Millbrook AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Millbrook 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Millbrook AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
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 chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Millbrook AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist 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 be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Millbrook AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some 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 start 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 ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Millbrook AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Millbrook AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting 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 offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Millbrook AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Millbrook 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. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Millbrook AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not 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 a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Millbrook Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Millbrook Alabama.