How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Pike Road Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Pike Road AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Pike Road AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Pike Road AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Pike Road AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Pike Road AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Pike Road AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets 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 phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Pike Road AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of 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 essential to check the reputations of any schools 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 placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Pike Road AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Pike Road AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pike Road AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Pike Road AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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 emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Pike Road AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Pike Road Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pike Road Alabama.