How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Valley Grande Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Valley Grande AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right 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.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Valley Grande AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Valley Grande AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Valley Grande AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Valley Grande AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). 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 learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Valley Grande AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, 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 before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Valley Grande AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Valley Grande AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Valley Grande AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Valley Grande AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Valley Grande AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Valley Grande AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not 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 drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and 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 perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Valley Grande Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Valley Grande Alabama.