How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School near Tarrant Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Tarrant AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Tarrant AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Tarrant AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Tarrant AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Tarrant AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Tarrant AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Tarrant AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Tarrant AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working 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 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 may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Tarrant AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tarrant AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tarrant AL, make sure they are offered 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 attend 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 should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Tarrant AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Tarrant Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tarrant Alabama.