How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Satsuma Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Satsuma AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide 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 afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Satsuma AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Satsuma AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type 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, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Satsuma AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Satsuma AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Satsuma AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Satsuma AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many 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 investigate the reputations of any schools 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 placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Satsuma AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with 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 find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Satsuma AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Satsuma AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Satsuma AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Satsuma AL medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Satsuma Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before 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 pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Satsuma Alabama.