How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Monroeville Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Monroeville AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Monroeville AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Monroeville AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Monroeville AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Monroeville AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Monroeville AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Monroeville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Monroeville AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Monroeville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school 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 as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Monroeville AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Monroeville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case 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 comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Monroeville AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Monroeville Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Monroeville Alabama.