How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Altoona AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Altoona AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Altoona AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Altoona AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Altoona AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Altoona AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Altoona AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Altoona AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any schools 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 assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Altoona AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Altoona AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Altoona AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Altoona AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
How Long Phlebotomy Training Altoona Alabama
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Long Phlebotomy Training and to get more information regarding How To Choose Phlebotomy Courses. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Altoona AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Altoona is a town in Etowah County (and a small portion of Blount County) in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 933.
Altoona had its start in the year 1900 as a mining town, and was named for another coal town, Altoona, Pennsylvania. A post office has been in operation at Altoona since 1900. It incorporated in 1908.
Altoona is located in western Etowah County at 34°1′45″N 86°19′14″W / 34.02917°N 86.32056°W / 34.02917; -86.32056 (34.029259, -86.320687). The town extends west into Blount County. It is located in the Murphree Valley at the base of Altoona Mountain. Straight Mountain is a small, narrow ridge which runs nearly through the center of the town. The current mayor is Jacob Graul and served by his lovely wife Stephanie Graul. Alabama State Route 132 (Main Street) leads southwest 10 miles (16 km) to Oneonta, the Blount County seat, and northeast towards Gadsden via U.S. Route 278.