How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Ozark Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Ozark AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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 actually work in Ozark AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Ozark AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior 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 environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Ozark AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several 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 important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Ozark AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice 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 decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Ozark AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist 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 be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Ozark AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Ozark AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Ozark AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Ozark AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Ozark AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend 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 Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Ozark AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Ozark Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ozark Alabama.