How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Ozark Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Ozark AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should 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 classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Ozark AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Ozark AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Ozark 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum 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. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Ozark AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Ozark AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Ozark 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 caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Ozark AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges 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 typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Ozark AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Ozark AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Ozark AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Ozark AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may 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 may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Ozark Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to 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 ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ozark Alabama.