How to Pick the Right One Near Foley Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Foley AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs that are offered in your area and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting 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 accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Foley AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Foley AL employers look for 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Foley AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined 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 basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish 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 Foley AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Foley AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Foley AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Foley AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Foley AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Foley AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Foley Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Foley Alabama.