How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Redland Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Redland AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right 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 Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Redland AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Redland AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Redland AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Redland AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want 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 Redland AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Redland AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Redland AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Redland AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Redland AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Redland AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Redland AL medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and 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 could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Redland Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Redland Alabama.