Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near Athens Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Athens AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your decision. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician 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 has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Athens AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Athens AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Athens AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Athens AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Athens AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students 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 talk to several Athens AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Athens AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Athens AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Athens AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled 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.
Enroll in the Right Athens Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Athens Alabama.