How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Phenix City Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Phenix City AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Phenix City AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest 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 quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Phenix City AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Phenix City AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Phenix City AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want 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 Phenix City AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All 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 several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite 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 examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Phenix City AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Phenix City AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Phenix City AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Phenix City Phlebotomy Course
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phenix City Alabama.