How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Winfield Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Winfield AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Winfield AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Winfield AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Winfield AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Winfield AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Winfield AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national 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 an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Winfield AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Winfield AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Winfield AL health care community. And they are a plus 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. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high 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 large network of professional contacts within the Winfield AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Winfield AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Winfield AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice 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 taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Winfield Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, 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 across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Winfield Alabama.