How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy School
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Arlington AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short 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 nervous in hospitals or other Arlington AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Arlington AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Arlington AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Arlington 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Arlington AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
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 might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Arlington AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Arlington AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many 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 any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Arlington AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Arlington AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support 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 positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Arlington AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Arlington AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomist Course Cost Arlington Alabama
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist Course Cost and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy School. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Arlington AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia, often referred to simply as Arlington or Arlington, Virginia. The county is situated in Northern Virginia on the southwestern bank of the Potomac River directly across from the District of Columbia, of which it was once a part. The county is coterminous with the U.S. Census Bureau's census-designated place of Arlington. Arlington is considered to be the second-largest "principal city" of the Washington metropolitan area.
In 2018, the county's population was estimated at 237,521, making Arlington the sixth-largest county in Virginia by population; if it were incorporated as a city, would be the fourth-most populous city in the state. With a land area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Arlington is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the U.S., and by reason of state law regarding population density, it has no incorporated towns within its borders. It is the 5th highest-income county in the U.S. by median family income.
Due to the county's proximity to downtown Washington, D.C., Arlington is home to the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport, and Arlington National Cemetery, George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School and Schar School of Policy and Government, satellite campuses of the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, and is soon to house the co-headquarters of Amazon.com.