How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Odenville Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Odenville AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Odenville AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Odenville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Odenville AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Odenville AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school 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 receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Odenville AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Odenville AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Odenville AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Odenville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Odenville AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Odenville 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure 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 comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Odenville AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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 interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Odenville Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Odenville Alabama.