How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Muscle Shoals AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online schools 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Muscle Shoals AL medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and 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 right job for you.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Muscle Shoals AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Muscle Shoals AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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 junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Muscle Shoals AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Muscle Shoals AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Muscle Shoals AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Muscle Shoals AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Muscle Shoals AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Muscle Shoals AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Muscle Shoals AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Muscle Shoals AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Where Can I Take A Phlebotomy Class Muscle Shoals Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. 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 Where Can I Take A Phlebotomy Class and to get more information regarding How To Become A Phlebotomist. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Muscle Shoals AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Both the city and the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area (including four cities in Colbert and Lauderdale counties) are commonly called "the Shoals".Northwest Alabama Regional Airport serves the Shoals region, located in the northwest section of the state.
Since the 1960s, the city has been known for music – developing the "Muscle Shoals Sound", as local recording studios (including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969) produced hit records that shaped the history of popular music.
Due to its strategic location along the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals played a key role in historic land disputes between Native Americans and Anglo-American settlers in the late 18th century and early 19th century.