How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Theodore Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Theodore AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Theodore AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Theodore AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Theodore AL employers require 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Theodore AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Theodore AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Theodore AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Theodore 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 ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Theodore AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Theodore AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Theodore AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Theodore AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings 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 profession for you.
Pick the Best Theodore Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes 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 choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Theodore Alabama.