Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Ozark Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Ozark AL. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that initially are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select 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 training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs 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 information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Ozark AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked 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 furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as 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 phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Ozark AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical 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 accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Ozark AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend 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 Ozark AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized 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 school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Ozark AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Ozark AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Ozark AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Ozark AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Ozark AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Ozark Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ozark Alabama.