How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Scottsboro Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Scottsboro AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Scottsboro AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Scottsboro AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Scottsboro AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Scottsboro AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Scottsboro AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Scottsboro AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Scottsboro AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Scottsboro AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsboro AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Scottsboro AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Scottsboro Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical 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 fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsboro Alabama.