How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Auburn University AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Auburn University AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Auburn University AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Auburn University AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Auburn University AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Auburn University AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very 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 preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Auburn University AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Auburn University AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Auburn University AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs 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 jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Auburn University AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn University AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Auburn University Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Auburn University AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a public research and land-grant university in Auburn, Alabama. With more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 30,000 with 1,260 faculty members, Auburn is the second largest university in Alabama. It is one of the state's two public flagship universities. The university is classified as an RI: Doctoral Research—Very High Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
Auburn was chartered on February 1, 1856, as East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, it became the state's first public land-grant university and was renamed as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, it became the first four-year coeducational school in Alabama, and in 1899 was renamed Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) to reflect its changing mission. In 1960, its name was changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university.
The Alabama Legislature chartered the institution as the East Alabama Male College on February 1, 1856, coming under the guidance of the Methodist Church in 1859. Its first president was Reverend William J. Sasnett, and the school opened its doors in 1859 to a student body of eighty and a faculty of ten.
Find the Right Phlebotomy College near Auburn University AL
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist Requirements. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Auburn University AL.
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