Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Best One Near Saraland Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Saraland AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your decision. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Saraland AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Saraland AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Saraland AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Saraland AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Saraland AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place 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 as well. You can even talk to a few Saraland 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 grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Saraland AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Saraland AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Saraland AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Saraland Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Saraland Alabama.