How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Oneonta Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Oneonta AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools 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 variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Oneonta AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Oneonta AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Oneonta AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Oneonta AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist 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 receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Oneonta AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Oneonta AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Oneonta AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Oneonta AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Oneonta AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oneonta AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Oneonta AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Oneonta Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oneonta Alabama.