How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Alexander City AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. 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 pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Alexander City AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Alexander City AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Alexander City AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means 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. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Alexander City AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Alexander City AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Alexander City AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Alexander City AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Alexander City AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Alexander City AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Certificate For Phlebotomy Alexander City Alabama
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Certificate For Phlebotomy and to get more information regarding Accredited Phlebotomist Training Schools. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alexander City AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Alexander City, Alabama
Alexander City, known to locals as "Alex City", is a city in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, United States, with a population of some 14,875. It is known for Lake Martin with its 750 miles (1,210 km) of wooded shoreline and 44,000 acres (18,000 ha) of water. Lake Martin stands on the Tallapoosa River and offers boating, swimming, fishing, golfing, and camping. Many neighborhoods and luxury homes are located on the lake.
Alexander City was incorporated in 1872 as Youngsville, after its founder James Young. In 1873, the Savannah and Memphis Railroad came to the city. The city was renamed in honor of the railroad's President Edward Porter Alexander, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg for the Confederate States.
On June 13, 1902, at 1 pm, a fire broke out in the Alexander City Machine shop and destroyed much of the town. At the time, Alexander City did not have a water system and all buildings, including the telegraph office, post office and three banks were burned.