How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Bay Minette AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Bay Minette AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Bay Minette AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Bay Minette AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional 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 licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Bay Minette AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
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 selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Bay Minette AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before 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 phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bay Minette AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Bay Minette AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Bay Minette AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bay Minette AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bay Minette AL, check that 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Bay Minette Alabama?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Bay Minette AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Bay Minette, Alabama
In the first days of Baldwin County, the town of McIntosh Bluff (now in Mobile County, west of Baldwin County) on the Tombigbee River was the county seat. After being transferred to the town of Blakeley in 1810, the county seat was later moved to the city of Daphne in 1868. In 1900, by an act of the legislature of Alabama, the county seat was authorized for relocation to the city of Bay Minette; however, the city of Daphne resisted relocation. The citizens of Bay Minette moved the county records from Daphne in the middle of the night on October 11–12, 1901 and delivered them to the city of Bay Minette - where the Baldwin County seat remains to this day. A mural for the new post office built in 1937 was commissioned by the WPA and painted by Hilton Leech, to commemorate this event.
In September 2011, the town attempted to enact a program called "Operation Restore Our Community". It would have allowed those convicted of a misdemeanor to substitute imprisonment with mandatory church attendance for one year. However, this program was challenged due to violating separation of church and state, and the program's start was delayed for judicial review. It appears to have been scrapped.
Bay Minette is located near the center of Baldwin County in southern Alabama at 30°53′0″N 87°46′38″W / 30.88333°N 87.77722°W / 30.88333; -87.77722 (30.883446, -87.777183). It is sited on high ground 5 miles (8 km) east of the Mobile River/Tensaw River valley and 6 miles (10 km) west of the Florida border formed by the Perdido River. U.S. Route 31 passes through the center of the city, leading south to Spanish Fort and northeast to Atmore. Interstate 65 passes about 5 miles (8 km) north of the city, with access from exit 34 (State Route 59) and exit 37 (State Route 287).
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist College near Bay Minette AL
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Career Training. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bay Minette AL.
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