How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Semmes Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Semmes AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Semmes AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Semmes AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 collecting 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 collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer 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 phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Semmes AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Semmes AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Semmes AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Semmes AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Semmes AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Semmes AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Semmes AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Semmes AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Semmes AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Semmes Phlebotomy School
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 covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Semmes Alabama.