Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Right One Near Enterprise Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Enterprise AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting task to research and analyze each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. Quite often the two qualifications that first are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating 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 due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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 actually work in Enterprise AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Enterprise AL employers look for certification prior to employing 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Enterprise AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Enterprise AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking 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 should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing 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 desirable to potential employers in the Enterprise AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer 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 as well. You can even talk to some Enterprise AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. As 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 practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Enterprise AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Enterprise AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Enterprise Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical 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 superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Enterprise Alabama.