How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Prichard Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Prichard AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Prichard AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Prichard AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working 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 mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Prichard AL employers look for certification before hiring 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Prichard AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Prichard AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prichard AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? 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 essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Prichard 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 grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Prichard AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Prichard AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prichard AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prichard AL medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Prichard Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking 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 proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prichard Alabama.