How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy School
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Attalla AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Attalla 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 with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Attalla AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Attalla AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest 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 include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Attalla AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Attalla AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Attalla AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional 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 an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Attalla AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Attalla AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Attalla AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Attalla AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Attalla AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Education Needed To Be A Phlebotomist Attalla Alabama
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important 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 Education Needed To Be A Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Degree. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Attalla AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
The town occupies the site of an Indian village which was of considerable importance during the Creek War. It was in Attalla that David Brown, a Cherokee assisted by the Rev. D. S. Butterick, prepared the Cherokee Spelling Book.
Attalla was not founded until 1870, on land donated by W. C. Hammond, a plantation owner. It was incorporated as a city government on February 5, 1872. The town was officially named "Attalla" in 1893, from the Cherokee language word meaning "mountain". Attalla was prosperous until the railroads that it depended on went into bankruptcy.
William Lewis Moore, a U.S. postman and white civil rights activist, was murdered here on April 23, 1963 as he tried to walk from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi to deliver his letter in support of civil rights to Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett. The suspected murderer, Floyd Simpson, was never charged with the crime.]].
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