How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Prattville AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should 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 reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer 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 Prattville AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample 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 blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prattville AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Prattville AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Prattville AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted 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 attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Prattville AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Prattville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Prattville AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references 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 even contact some Prattville AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Prattville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Prattville AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prattville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Accredited Phlebotomist Training Programs Prattville Alabama
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Accredited Phlebotomist Training Programs and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Training Schools. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prattville AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Prattville is a city in Autauga and Elmore counties in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 33,960. Nicknamed "The Fountain City" due to the many artesian wells in the area, Prattville is part of the Montgomery metropolitan statistical area and serves as the county seat of Autauga County.
Prattville was founded in 1839 by industrialist and architect Daniel Pratt. The area was largely inhabited by Native Americans and a few settlers when Pratt, a native of Temple, New Hampshire, first observed the Autauga Creek in the 1830s. He purchased approximately 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) from Joseph May at $21.00 an acre, and set out to build his manufacturing facilities and the town along the banks of Autauga Creek. The location was chosen because the creek could supply power to the cotton gin manufacturing equipment. The town became an industrial center and rapidly grew. In 1868, it was named the county seat for Autauga County.
On February 17, 2008, Prattville was hit by an F3 tornado which destroyed more than 45 homes and businesses and damaged over 700. Twenty-nine people were injured with no fatalities. Preliminary estimates put the damage at $85 million in insured and uninsured damages.