How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Tillmans Corner Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Tillmans Corner AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Tillmans Corner AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Tillmans Corner AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility 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 solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Tillmans Corner 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Tillmans Corner AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (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 learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Tillmans Corner AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national 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 a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Tillmans Corner AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 also. You can also contact several Tillmans Corner AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Tillmans Corner AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Tillmans Corner AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tillmans Corner AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Tillmans Corner AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Tillmans Corner Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tillmans Corner Alabama.