How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Gulf Shores AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Gulf Shores AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Gulf Shores AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Gulf Shores AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Gulf Shores 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Gulf Shores AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose 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 superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Gulf Shores AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Gulf Shores AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Gulf Shores AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Gulf Shores AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gulf Shores AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gulf Shores AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Where to Find Top Phlebotomy Classes Near Me Gulf Shores Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Top Phlebotomy Classes Near Me and to get more information regarding Where to Find Weekend Phlebotomy Degree Programs Near Me. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gulf Shores AL.
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Gulf Shores, Alabama
Gulf Shores is located on the Gulf of Mexico at 30°16'4.069" North, 87°42'5.285" West (30.267797, −87.701468). It is the southernmost settlement in the state of Alabama. It is served by Alabama State Route 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway), which leads north to Foley. Route 182 (Beach Boulevard) runs east-west along the shore front, while Route 180 (Fort Morgan Road) runs parallel to it, north of Little Lagoon. Gulf State Park occupies a large eastern part of the city.
Gulf Shores is located 33 miles (53 km) west of Pensacola, Florida, 54 miles (87 km) south of Mobile, 197 miles (317 km) east of New Orleans, 194 miles (312 km) south of Montgomery, and 55 miles (89 km) west of Navarre, Florida.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.0 square miles (72.5 km2), of which 23.2 square miles (60.0 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12.5 km2), or 17.24%, is water.
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