Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Dothan Alabama
An important first step you must take to enter the fulfilling medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Dothan AL. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. Quite often the two requirements that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly 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 process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Dothan AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means 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 phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Dothan AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of 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 Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Dothan AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Dothan AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking 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 each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Dothan AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide 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 offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Dothan AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dothan AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Dothan Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dothan Alabama.