Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Choose the Right One Near East Florence Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near East Florence AL. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications 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 participate online is another consideration as well. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important 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 evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in East Florence AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many East Florence AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now 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 picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all 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 placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several East Florence AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local East Florence AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering 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 positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, check that 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right East Florence Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in East Florence Alabama.