How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School near Odenville Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Odenville AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider 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's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Odenville AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Odenville AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Odenville AL employers look for certification prior to 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Odenville AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive 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 program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Odenville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets 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 highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Odenville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Odenville AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact 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? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Odenville AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Odenville AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Odenville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Odenville AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate 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, 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 may be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Odenville Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Odenville Alabama.