How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Valley Grande Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Valley Grande AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 actually work in Valley Grande AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Valley Grande AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior 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 drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Valley Grande AL employers require certification before hiring 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component 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. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Valley Grande AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Valley Grande AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Valley Grande AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out 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 assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Valley Grande AL hospitals or clinics 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 complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Valley Grande AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Valley Grande AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Valley Grande AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Valley Grande AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Valley Grande Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Valley Grande Alabama.