Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Choose the Right One Near Fort Payne Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Fort Payne AL. There are many training programs available to you and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and analyze each one. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Fort Payne AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Fort Payne AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Fort Payne AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you 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 kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Fort Payne AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fort Payne AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Fort Payne AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact 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 practicing 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 reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Fort Payne AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fort Payne AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fort Payne AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed 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 Best Fort Payne Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fort Payne Alabama.