How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Mobile Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Mobile AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area 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 far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Mobile AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Mobile AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Mobile AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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 accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Mobile AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Mobile AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Mobile AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Mobile 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 check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Mobile AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mobile AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Mobile AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Mobile Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mobile Alabama.