How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Spanish Fort Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Spanish Fort AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick 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.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Spanish Fort AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Spanish Fort AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. 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 community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Spanish Fort AL employers look for certification prior to employing 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Spanish Fort AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Spanish Fort AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Spanish Fort AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Spanish Fort AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at 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 signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Spanish Fort AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Spanish Fort AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Spanish Fort AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Spanish Fort AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Spanish Fort Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Spanish Fort Alabama.