Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Fort Payne Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Fort Payne AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that initially are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Fort Payne AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Fort Payne AL employers require certification before hiring 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 phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Fort Payne AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Fort Payne AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Fort Payne AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal 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 investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Fort Payne AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest 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 complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with 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 considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Fort Payne AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out 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 most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive 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 pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fort Payne AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Fort Payne Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist 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 an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fort Payne Alabama.