How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Underwood Petersville Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Underwood Petersville AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Underwood Petersville AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Underwood Petersville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Underwood Petersville AL employers look for certification before employing 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Underwood Petersville AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Underwood Petersville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each 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, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Underwood Petersville AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Underwood Petersville AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Underwood Petersville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Underwood Petersville AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Underwood Petersville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need 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 able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Underwood Petersville AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Underwood Petersville Phlebotomy School
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Underwood Petersville Alabama.