How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Union Springs AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably 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 selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Union Springs AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Union Springs AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, 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 they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Union Springs AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Union Springs AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Union Springs AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
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 might have already picked 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Union Springs AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Union Springs AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place 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 as well. You can even check with some Union Springs AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide 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, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Union Springs AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Union Springs AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Union Springs AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Accredited Phlebotomy Schools Union Springs Alabama
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Accredited Phlebotomy Schools and to get more information regarding Where Can I Take A Phlebotomy Course. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Union Springs AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Union Springs, Alabama
The area that became Union Springs was first settled by white men after the Creek Indian removal of the 1830s. Twenty-seven springs watered the land, giving rise to the name of Union Springs. The city was incorporated on January 13, 1844. When Bullock County was formed in 1866, voters selected Union Springs as the county seat.
Union Springs is located in southeastern Alabama near the center of Bullock County at 32°8'24.407" North, 85°42'46.094" West (32.140113, -85.712804). The source of the Conecuh River is within the city limits.
The city is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 82 and U.S. Route 29. Route 82 leads east 40 miles (64 km) to Eufaula and northwest 46 miles (74 km) to Montgomery, the state capital. Route 29 leads north 23 miles (37 km) to Tuskegee and southwest 40 miles (64 km) to Troy.
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