How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Pell City Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Pell City AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Pell City AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Pell City AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible 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 be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Pell City AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Pell City AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend 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 Pell City AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements 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 performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Pell City AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Pell City AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Pell City AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pell City AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Pell City AL, make certain 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 study 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 have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Pell City AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings 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 patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Pell City Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pell City Alabama.