How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Saks Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Saks AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Saks AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Saks AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, 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 drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Saks AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Saks AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in 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 quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Saks AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may 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 prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Saks AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Saks AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Saks AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Saks AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Saks AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Saks AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may 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 may be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Saks Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Saks Alabama.