How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Anniston AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option 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 you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding 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 also. Toward that end, 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 right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Anniston AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings 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.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Anniston AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Anniston AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as 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 phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Anniston AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Anniston AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Anniston AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Anniston AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Anniston AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. 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 total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the 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 considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Anniston AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority 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 Anniston AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anniston AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Courses Anniston Alabama
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Courses and to get more information regarding Where to Find Top Phlebotomy Certificate Schools. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anniston AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Anniston is the county seat of Calhoun County in Alabama and is one of two urban centers/principal cities of and included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 23,106. According to 2013 Census estimates, the city had a population of 22,666.
Though the surrounding area was settled much earlier, the mineral resources in the area of Anniston were not exploited until the Civil War. The Confederate States of America then operated an iron furnace near present-day downtown Anniston, until it was finally destroyed by raiding Union cavalry in early 1865. Later, cast iron for sewer systems became the focus of Anniston's industrial output. Cast iron pipe, also called soil pipe, was popular until the advent of plastic pipe in the 1960s.
In 1872, the Woodstock Iron Company, organized by Samuel Noble and Union Gen. Daniel Tyler, rebuilt the furnace on a much larger scale, and started a planned community named Woodstock, soon renamed "Annie's Town" for Annie Scott Tyler, Daniel's daughter and wife of railroad president Alfred L. Tyler. Anniston was chartered as a town in 1873.
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