How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Rainsville Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Rainsville AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Rainsville AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Rainsville AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Rainsville AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as 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 supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Rainsville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 significant if you will be commuting from Rainsville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Rainsville AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Rainsville AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Rainsville AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Rainsville AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rainsville AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Rainsville AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Rainsville Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Rainsville Alabama.