How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist School
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Atmore AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician 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 chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Atmore AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Atmore AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Atmore AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available 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 provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Atmore 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Atmore AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Atmore AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to 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 examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Atmore AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Atmore AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from 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 practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Atmore AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer 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 college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Atmore AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Atmore AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomy Training Requirements Atmore Alabama
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Training Requirements and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist Schools. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Atmore AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 10,006 in 2014. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.
Atmore has completed requirements to be recognized as an Alabama Community of Excellence at the upcoming Alabama League of Municipalities Convention. City officials are also working with the Alabama Historical Commission to have the downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Atmore is located in western Escambia County at 31°1′23″N 87°29′31″W / 31.02306°N 87.49194°W / 31.02306; -87.49194 (31.023183, -87.492067). Its southern border is the Florida state line. The center of town is at the intersection of U.S. Route 31 and Alabama State Route 21, while a new section of the city has been incorporated 6 miles (10 km) to the north around Exit 57 of Interstate 65. US 31 leads southwest 20 miles (32 km) to Bay Minette and east 28 miles (45 km) to Brewton. Mobile is 51 miles (82 km) to the southwest via US 31 and I-65, while Pensacola, Florida, is 49 miles (79 km) south via AL 21, Florida State Road 97, and U.S. Route 29.