Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Millbrook Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Millbrook AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your decision. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Millbrook AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Millbrook AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Millbrook AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you 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 chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Millbrook AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, 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 quality education. First, 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 getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Millbrook AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Millbrook AL hospitals or clinics that you may 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Millbrook AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Millbrook AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Millbrook AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Millbrook Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Millbrook Alabama.