How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy School
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Abbeville AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Abbeville AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Abbeville AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Abbeville AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together 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 phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Abbeville AL employers require certification before hiring 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed 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 attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Abbeville AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Abbeville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need 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 prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered 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 colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Abbeville AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Abbeville AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Abbeville AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Abbeville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Abbeville AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomy Technician Certificate Program Abbeville Alabama
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Technician Certificate Program and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Training Classes. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Abbeville AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Abbeville is a city in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the population was 2,688. The city is the county seat of Henry County. It is the first city alphabetically, both by city and state, in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. It has two high schools: the public Abbeville High School and private Abbeville Christian Academy. Chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity operate here.
Abbeville is located at 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139Coordinates: 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139 (31.566367, -85.251300). The city is located in southeastern Alabama along U.S. Route 431, Alabama State Route 10, and Alabama State Route 27 approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Dothan and 23 mi (37 km) south-southwest of Eufaula.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Abbeville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.