How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Rainsville Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Rainsville AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary 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 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed 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 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 in fact work in Rainsville AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Rainsville AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available 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 get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Rainsville AL employers look for certification prior to employing 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Rainsville AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Rainsville AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies 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 respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Rainsville AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Rainsville AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Rainsville AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Rainsville AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Rainsville AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Rainsville AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Rainsville Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Rainsville Alabama.