Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Anniston Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Anniston AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit before making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your due diligence process. 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order 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 Anniston AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Anniston AL employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Anniston AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive 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 earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 Anniston AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Anniston AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Anniston AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Anniston AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering 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 positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Anniston AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Anniston AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even 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 should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Anniston Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anniston Alabama.