How to Find the Right Phlebotomist School near Pinson Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Pinson AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit 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 finding the cheapest or the closest 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 assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Pinson AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Pinson AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Pinson AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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 portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Pinson AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Pinson AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, 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 practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist 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 have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Pinson AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out 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 placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Pinson AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Pinson AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pinson AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pinson AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Pinson AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Pinson Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pinson Alabama.