Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Selma Alabama
A critical first step one must take to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Selma AL. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like an intimidating task to investigate and compare each one. However, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. Quite often the two requirements that initially are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should 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 reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Selma AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Selma AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Selma AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). 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 degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Selma AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Selma AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Selma AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish 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 provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Selma AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Selma AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Selma AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study 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 need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Selma Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Selma Alabama.