How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Valley Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Valley AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Valley AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Valley AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Valley AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Valley AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, 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 degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Valley AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting 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 all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Valley AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous 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 important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Valley AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Valley AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Valley AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Valley AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Valley AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and 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 job for you.
Pick the Right Valley Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Valley Alabama.