How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Troy Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Troy AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate 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 receive a quality 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 an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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 Troy AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Troy AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior 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 setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally 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 means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Troy AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy 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.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Troy AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Troy AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Troy AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Troy AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 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 comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Troy AL healthcare 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. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 along with a large network of professional contacts within the Troy AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Troy AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Troy AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights 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 could be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Troy Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Troy Alabama.