How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Satsuma Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Satsuma AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Satsuma AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Satsuma AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Satsuma AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum 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 component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Satsuma AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Satsuma AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Satsuma AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Satsuma AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Satsuma AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Satsuma AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Satsuma AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Satsuma AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around 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 expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Best Satsuma Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Satsuma Alabama.