How to Pick the Right One Near Dixiana Alabama
A critical first step one must take to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Dixiana AL. There are numerous training programs available to you and it might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and analyze each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. And if 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Dixiana AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Dixiana AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Dixiana AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want 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 Dixiana AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium 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 agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Dixiana AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of 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 essential 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 internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Dixiana AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Dixiana AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Dixiana AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Dixiana AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Dixiana Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dixiana Alabama.