How to Enroll in the Right One Near Phenix City Alabama
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Phenix City AL. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must perform a detailed audit before making your decision. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Phenix City AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types 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 together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route 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 to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Phenix City AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Phenix City AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Phenix City AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws 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 practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Phenix City AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Phenix City AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Phenix City AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer 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 school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phenix City AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phenix City Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phenix City Alabama.