How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Semmes Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Semmes AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider 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 remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Semmes AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Semmes AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Semmes AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Semmes AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Semmes AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically 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 Semmes AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Semmes AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Semmes AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Semmes AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Semmes AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Semmes AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Semmes Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Semmes Alabama.