How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Saks Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Saks AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Saks AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Saks AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Saks AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Saks AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Saks AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before 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 meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Saks AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Saks AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing 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 comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Saks AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Saks AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Saks AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Saks AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Saks Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Saks Alabama.