How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Underwood Petersville Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Underwood Petersville AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Underwood Petersville AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Underwood Petersville AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Underwood Petersville AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Underwood Petersville AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Underwood Petersville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, 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 requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Underwood Petersville AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Underwood Petersville AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. 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 full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Underwood Petersville AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Underwood Petersville AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Underwood Petersville AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Underwood Petersville AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely 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 may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 profession for you.
Pick the Right Underwood Petersville Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Underwood Petersville Alabama.