How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Pleasant Grove Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Pleasant Grove AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest 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 supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Pleasant Grove AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Pleasant Grove AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Pleasant Grove AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Pleasant Grove AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Pleasant Grove AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Pleasant Grove AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many 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 important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Pleasant Grove AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Pleasant Grove AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Pleasant Grove AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pleasant Grove AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Pleasant Grove AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Pleasant Grove Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pleasant Grove Alabama.