How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Oneonta Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Oneonta AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 select the ideal 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.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Oneonta AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Oneonta AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Oneonta AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Oneonta AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Oneonta AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Oneonta AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Oneonta AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs 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 way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Oneonta AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support 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 high 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Oneonta AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oneonta AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Oneonta AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Oneonta Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school 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 college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oneonta Alabama.