Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Best One Near Center Point Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Center Point AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. Quite often the two requirements that first come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Center Point AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Center Point AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Center Point AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
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 decided on 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 important if you will be commuting from Center Point AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Center Point AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Center Point AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Center Point AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist 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 school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Center Point AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Center Point AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Center Point Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Center Point Alabama.