How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Pine Level Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Pine Level AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Pine Level AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Pine Level AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Pine Level AL employers look for certification prior to employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical 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. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Pine Level AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Pine Level AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Pine Level AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Pine Level AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Pine Level AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Pine Level AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pine Level AL, make certain 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Pine Level AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Pine Level Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pine Level Alabama.