How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Springville Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Springville AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Springville AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Springville AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw 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 samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Springville AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Springville AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend 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 Springville AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making 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 decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Springville AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Springville AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact 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? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Springville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer 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 program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Springville AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Springville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Springville AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care 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 can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Springville Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Springville Alabama.