How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Tuscumbia Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Tuscumbia AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, 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 must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Tuscumbia AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Tuscumbia AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Tuscumbia AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies 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 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 important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Tuscumbia AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Tuscumbia AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Tuscumbia AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Tuscumbia AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. 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 Plenty of Training Included? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tuscumbia AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tuscumbia AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tuscumbia AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Tuscumbia AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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 patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Tuscumbia Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tuscumbia Alabama.