How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Piedmont Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Piedmont AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision 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 reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Piedmont AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Piedmont AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Piedmont AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Piedmont AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school 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 quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Piedmont AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Piedmont AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Piedmont AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Piedmont AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Piedmont AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Piedmont AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Piedmont AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and 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 could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Piedmont Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Piedmont Alabama.