How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Prattville Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Prattville AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prattville AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Prattville AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method 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 phlebotomist. 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 provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Prattville AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Prattville AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Prattville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prattville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Prattville AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Prattville AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at 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 program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prattville AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prattville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Prattville AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Prattville Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prattville Alabama.