How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Selma Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Selma AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may 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's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Selma AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Selma AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some 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 collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Selma AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Selma AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Selma AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance 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 getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Selma AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Selma AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Selma AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance 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, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Selma AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Selma AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Selma AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Selma Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Selma Alabama.