How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician School
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Decatur AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become 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 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 Decatur AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Decatur AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Decatur AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Decatur AL employers look for 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Decatur AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Decatur AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Decatur AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Decatur AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 provide at least 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 expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Decatur AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Decatur AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Decatur AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Where to Find Best Phlebotomy Training Near Me Decatur Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Best Phlebotomy Training Near Me and to get more information regarding Where to Find Fast Track Phlebotomy Training Programs Near Me. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Decatur AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the State of Alabama. The city, nicknamed "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.
Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second-largest city.
Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, mining, cargo transit, chemical, and high-tech companies such as Vulcan Materials,Daikin,Toray,United Launch Alliance.
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