How to Choose the Right One Near Mobile Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Mobile AL. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating 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. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Mobile AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 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 provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Mobile AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Mobile AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Mobile AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Mobile AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Mobile AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer 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? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Mobile AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting 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 higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Mobile AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Mobile AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Mobile Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mobile Alabama.