How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Orange Beach Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Orange Beach AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Orange Beach AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Orange Beach AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Orange Beach AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Orange Beach AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish 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 as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Orange Beach AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative 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 graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Orange Beach AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Orange Beach AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Orange Beach AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Orange Beach AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Orange Beach AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Orange Beach Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Orange Beach Alabama.