How to Find the Best Phlebotomy School near Prichard Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Prichard AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two 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 talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prichard AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Prichard AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, 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 example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Prichard AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Prichard AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional 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 study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish 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 Prichard AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prichard AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Prichard AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prichard AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools 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 school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prichard AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prichard 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prichard AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Prichard Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings 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 need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prichard Alabama.