How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Union Springs Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Union Springs AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Union Springs AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Union Springs AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending 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 only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Union Springs AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. 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 conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Union Springs AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Union Springs AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Union Springs AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Union Springs AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances 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 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Union Springs AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Union Springs AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Union Springs AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed 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 Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Union Springs AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Right Union Springs Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Union Springs Alabama.