How to Enroll in the Right One Near Auburn Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Auburn AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must perform a detailed audit before making your decision. Quite often the two qualifications that initially are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Auburn AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Auburn 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Auburn AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Auburn AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Auburn AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Auburn AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Auburn AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Auburn AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Auburn Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Auburn Alabama.