How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Ozark Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Ozark AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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 actually work in Ozark AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Ozark AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Ozark AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Ozark AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Ozark AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Ozark AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Ozark AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Ozark AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Ozark AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ozark AL, make certain 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Ozark AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Ozark Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential 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 contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Ozark Alabama.