How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Tallassee Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Tallassee AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each 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 quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Tallassee AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Tallassee AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Tallassee AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Tallassee AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Tallassee AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws 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 clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Tallassee AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start 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 also. You can even talk to some Tallassee AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Tallassee AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tallassee AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tallassee AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around 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 Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Tallassee Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tallassee Alabama.