How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Pleasant Grove Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Pleasant Grove AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Pleasant Grove AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Pleasant Grove AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest 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 junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Pleasant Grove AL employers look for certification before employing 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Pleasant Grove AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Pleasant Grove AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part 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 all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require 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 need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Pleasant Grove AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 as well. You can even check with several Pleasant Grove AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 clinical and classroom. 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 lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Pleasant Grove AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 together with a large network of professional contacts within the Pleasant Grove AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pleasant Grove AL, make certain they are available 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Pleasant Grove AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably 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 right profession for you.
Pick the Best Pleasant Grove Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pleasant Grove Alabama.