How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Natural Bridge AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick 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 Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Natural Bridge AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Natural Bridge AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Natural Bridge AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older 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 collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate 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 quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Natural Bridge AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out 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-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Natural Bridge AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Natural Bridge AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist 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 hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Natural Bridge AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of 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 important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Natural Bridge AL clinics or hospitals 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 complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Natural Bridge AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority 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 Natural Bridge AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Natural Bridge AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Certificate Phlebotomy Natural Bridge Alabama
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Certificate Phlebotomy and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist School. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Natural Bridge AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Natural Bridge, Alabama
Natural Bridge is a town at the southwest edge of Winston County, Alabama, United States, located near the intersection of U.S. Highway 278, Alabama Highway 13, and Alabama State Route 5. It initially incorporated on September 3, 1914. In the 1930s, due to a dwindling population, its charter became dormant. On July 24, 1997 it reincorporated.
The population was 37 at the 2010 census, up from 28 in 2000. After its reincorporation, in 2000 it was the least populated town in Alabama that was incorporated, although Gantts Quarry had a population of zero but was still legally incorporated. In 2010, it lost the title to McMullen and became the 4th least populated incorporated town in the state.
The town is notable for the nearby rock arch, also named Natural Bridge, the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies, spanning over 127 ft (40 m). The arch is in Natural Bridge Park, which allows public access.
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