Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Phenix City Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Phenix City AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Phenix City AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Phenix City AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 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 imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Phenix City AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive 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 best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend 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 Phenix City AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Phenix City 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 contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools 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 amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Phenix City AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing 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 college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phenix City Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phenix City Alabama.