How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Union Springs Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Union Springs AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need 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 important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Union Springs AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Union Springs AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Union Springs AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Union Springs AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Union Springs AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for 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. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Union Springs AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Union Springs AL clinics or hospitals that you may 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 ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Union Springs AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Union Springs AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Union Springs AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Union Springs AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Union Springs Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Union Springs Alabama.