How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Orange Beach AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 discussion about online classes.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Orange Beach AL medical environments, well this profession may not be 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 drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Orange Beach AL labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Orange Beach AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Orange Beach AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Orange Beach AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Orange Beach AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Orange Beach AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Orange Beach AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Orange Beach AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Orange Beach AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Orange Beach AL, check that they are available 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Where to Find Fast Track Phlebotomy Courses Near Me Orange Beach Alabama
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Fast Track Phlebotomy Courses Near Me and to get more information regarding Free Information on Local Phlebotomy Certificate Schools Near Me. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Orange Beach AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Orange Beach, Alabama
Orange Beach is located along the Gulf of Mexico, and is the easternmost community on Alabama's Gulf Coast, with Florida's Perdido Key bordering it to the east. The city of Gulf Shores is to the west.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.9 square miles (41.3 km2), of which 14.7 square miles (38.1 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.2 km2), or 7.83%, is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,441 people, 2,492 households, and 1,544 families residing in the city. The population density was 370 per square mile (140/km2). There were 11,726 housing units at an average density of 737.5 per square mile (284.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.3% White, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. 2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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