How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Oneonta Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Oneonta AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need 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 including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should 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 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 discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Oneonta AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Oneonta AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending 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 collecting 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 drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Oneonta AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Oneonta AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Oneonta AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy 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 have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Oneonta AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Oneonta AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Oneonta AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oneonta AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Oneonta AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Oneonta AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Oneonta Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country 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 carefully research and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oneonta Alabama.