Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Find the Right One Near Enterprise Alabama
A critical first step one must take to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Enterprise AL. There are a number of training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for 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 review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Enterprise AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Enterprise AL employers look for certification before hiring 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Enterprise AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic 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 wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Enterprise AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. 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 satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective 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 colleges, 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 considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Enterprise AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing 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 Ample Training Included? First, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Enterprise AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Enterprise AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Enterprise Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy 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 go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Enterprise Alabama.