How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Tarrant Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Tarrant AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly 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 lab testing process. 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Tarrant AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Tarrant AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Tarrant AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Tarrant AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Tarrant AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Tarrant AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little 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 out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Tarrant AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Tarrant AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tarrant AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tarrant AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Tarrant AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights 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.
Pick the Best Tarrant Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tarrant Alabama.