How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Troy Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Troy AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Troy AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Troy AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Troy AL employers look for certification before 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed 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-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Troy AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Troy AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
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 require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Troy AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Troy AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Troy AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school 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 Troy AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Troy AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be 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 environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably 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 perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Troy Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Troy Alabama.