How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Princeton Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Princeton AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important 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 should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Princeton AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Princeton AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Princeton AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Princeton AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Princeton AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure 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 looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Princeton AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Princeton AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Princeton AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Princeton AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Princeton AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Princeton Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important 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 contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Princeton Alabama.