How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Roanoke Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Roanoke AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at two 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 local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind 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 need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Roanoke AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Roanoke AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 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 together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Roanoke AL employers look for certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Roanoke AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Roanoke AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Roanoke AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Roanoke AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Roanoke AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Roanoke AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Roanoke AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Roanoke AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Roanoke Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each 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 school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Roanoke Alabama.