How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Clayton AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might 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 keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 training.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally 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 Clayton AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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 right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Clayton AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Clayton AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer 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 Clayton AL employers require certification before hiring 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of 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 prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Clayton AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you 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 kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Clayton AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Clayton AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Clayton AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Clayton AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Clayton AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Clayton AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Where to Find Accredited Phlebotomy Degree Programs Clayton Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must 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 Accredited Phlebotomy Degree Programs and to get more information regarding Where to Find Online Phlebotomy Degree Classes. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Clayton AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Clayton has been the county seat since 1834, two years after the creation of Barbour County. Clayton is located geographically in the center of the county. The town was located at the headwaters of the Pea and Choctawhatchee rivers on the historic road from Hobdy's Bridge over the Pea River to Eufaula on the Chattahoochee River. By 1818, there were a few settlers in the area around Clayton, but settlement began in earnest around 1823. The town was named for Augustine S. Clayton, a Georgia jurist and congressman. Clayton became the county seat of Barbour County in 1833 and was laid out on a central courthouse square plan. The first Circuit Court was held in Clayton on September 23, 1833. The Clayton post office was established in September 1835 with John F. Keener as postmaster. Clayton, with a population of 200, was incorporated on December 21, 1841, by the Alabama Legislature. Its first mayor, after incorporation, was John Jackson.
Clayton has a rich heritage with four properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Clayton is also known for its Whiskey Bottle Tombstone, which was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not!.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Clayton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
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Phlebotomy Education Requirements and Career Information
Phlebotomy is a medical specialty with a great outlook that can take less than a year of postsecondary training, although many phlebotomists opt for an associate's degree.