How to Enroll in the Right One Near East Florence Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near East Florence AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will drive to classes or participate 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, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in East Florence AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most East Florence AL employers look for certification prior to employing 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some East Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from East Florence AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the East Florence AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact 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 submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local East Florence AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the East Florence AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right East Florence Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in East Florence Alabama.