How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Muscle Shoals Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Muscle Shoals AL is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Muscle Shoals AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Muscle Shoals AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Muscle Shoals AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many 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 practical alternative for many Muscle Shoals AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Muscle Shoals AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Muscle Shoals AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Muscle Shoals AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Muscle Shoals AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Muscle Shoals AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Muscle Shoals AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Muscle Shoals AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Muscle Shoals Phlebotomy Course
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Muscle Shoals Alabama.