How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Rainbow City Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Rainbow City AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Rainbow City AL labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Rainbow City AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Rainbow City AL employers require 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve 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 performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Rainbow City AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 chosen 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Rainbow City AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Rainbow City AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Rainbow City AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Rainbow City AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Rainbow City AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rainbow City AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Rainbow City AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. 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 don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Rainbow City Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Rainbow City Alabama.