How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Leroy AL is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Leroy AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Leroy AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Leroy AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Leroy AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Leroy AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Leroy AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each 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 choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Leroy AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Leroy AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. At 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Leroy AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Leroy AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Leroy 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Colleges For Phlebotomy Leroy Alabama
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Colleges For Phlebotomy and to get more information regarding Training As A Phlebotomist. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Leroy AL.
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