How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Tallassee Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Tallassee AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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 actually work in Tallassee AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Tallassee AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood 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 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Tallassee AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including 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 offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Tallassee AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Tallassee AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Tallassee AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Tallassee AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Tallassee AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide 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 college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Tallassee AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tallassee AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Tallassee AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, 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 patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Tallassee Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tallassee Alabama.