How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Redland Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Redland AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Redland AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Redland AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Redland AL employers require certification before hiring 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Redland AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Redland AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Redland AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all 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 placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Redland AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Redland AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide 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 an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Redland AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Redland AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Redland AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Redland Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Redland Alabama.