How to Pick the Best One Near Foley Alabama
An important first step you must take to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Foley AL. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance 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 evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Foley AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist 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 offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Foley AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Foley AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Foley AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Foley AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many 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 important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates 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 also talk to a few Foley AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Foley AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying 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 Foley AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Foley AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Foley Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Foley Alabama.