How to Find the Right Phlebotomist School near Orange Beach Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Orange Beach AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Orange Beach AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Orange Beach AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Orange Beach AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Orange Beach AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive 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 attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Orange Beach AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school 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 little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Orange Beach AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. 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 Included? 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 amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Orange Beach AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Orange Beach AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Orange Beach AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Orange Beach AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Orange Beach Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Orange Beach Alabama.