How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Prichard Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Prichard AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prichard AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Prichard AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Prichard AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Prichard AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school 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 superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Prichard AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages 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 take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Prichard AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? 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 imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Prichard AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Prichard AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prichard AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prichard AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prichard AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Prichard Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prichard Alabama.