How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Alpine AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Alpine AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around 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 needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Alpine AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Alpine AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Alpine AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Alpine AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Alpine AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed 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 enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Alpine AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Alpine AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Alpine AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Alpine AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alpine AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Programs Alpine Alabama
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Programs and to get more information regarding Where to Find Top Phlebotomy Degree Schools. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alpine AL.
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