How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Odenville Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Odenville AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Odenville AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Odenville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Odenville AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 require 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 essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Odenville AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Odenville AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to 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 select a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often 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 Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Odenville AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Odenville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Odenville AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Odenville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Odenville AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Odenville Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Odenville Alabama.