How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Robertsdale Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Robertsdale AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may 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 do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may 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 you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Robertsdale AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Robertsdale AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Robertsdale AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Robertsdale AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Robertsdale AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? 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 requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Robertsdale AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Robertsdale AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Robertsdale AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning 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 Robertsdale AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Robertsdale AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Robertsdale AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Robertsdale Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Robertsdale Alabama.