How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Tyler AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating 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 as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Tyler AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Tyler AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Tyler AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Tyler AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Tyler AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Tyler AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Tyler AL job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Tyler AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing 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 Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Tyler AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 Tyler AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tyler AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
How Long To Become A Phlebotomist Tyler Alabama
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Long To Become A Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding Training In Phlebotomy. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tyler AL.
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