How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Orange Beach Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Orange Beach AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember 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 significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Orange Beach AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Orange Beach AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers 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.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Orange Beach AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part 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. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Orange Beach AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a basic 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 intend 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 Orange Beach AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. 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 satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Orange Beach AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Orange Beach AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Orange Beach AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Orange Beach AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Orange Beach 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Orange Beach AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Orange Beach Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Orange Beach Alabama.