How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Oxford Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Oxford AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Oxford AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Oxford AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means 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 phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Oxford AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Oxford AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy 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 obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish 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 Oxford AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Oxford AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many 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 important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Oxford AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Oxford AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Oxford AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Oxford AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Oxford AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Oxford Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oxford Alabama.