How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Tarrant Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Tarrant AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Tarrant AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Tarrant AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Tarrant AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel 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 performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Tarrant AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type 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 Tarrant AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Tarrant AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Tarrant AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Tarrant AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Tarrant AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tarrant AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Tarrant AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Tarrant Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tarrant Alabama.