Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Choose the Right One Near Talladega Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Talladega AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. In fact, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, location and cost shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Talladega AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Talladega 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Talladega AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). 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 may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Talladega AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Talladega AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Talladega AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Talladega AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Talladega AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Talladega AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Talladega Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Talladega Alabama.