How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Redland Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Redland AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing 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 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to 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 accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Redland AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Redland AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Redland AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Redland AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Redland AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Redland AL job market.
What is the School'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 in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Redland AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Redland AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most 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 Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Redland AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Redland AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Redland Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Redland Alabama.