Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Talladega Alabama
An important first step you must take to enter the gratifying healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Talladega AL. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 actually work in Talladega AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Talladega AL employers require certification before employing 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical 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 may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Talladega AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in 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 means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Talladega AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Talladega AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Talladega AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. 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 total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Talladega AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Talladega AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select provides 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 go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Talladega AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Talladega Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Talladega Alabama.