How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Thomasville Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Thomasville AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Thomasville AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Thomasville AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind 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 mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing 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 Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Thomasville AL employers require certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Thomasville AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Thomasville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Thomasville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Thomasville AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Thomasville AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Thomasville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Thomasville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Thomasville AL medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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 right profession for you.
Choose the Right Thomasville Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state 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 carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Thomasville Alabama.