How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Alpine AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Alpine AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Alpine AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Alpine AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers 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. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Alpine AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Alpine AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Alpine AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable 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 Alpine AL job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Alpine AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested 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 find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alpine AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alpine AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alpine AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Affordable Phlebotomy Training Alpine Alabama
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Affordable Phlebotomy Training and to get more information regarding How To Choose Phlebotomy Schools. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alpine AL.
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