How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Chancellor AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Chancellor AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Chancellor AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Chancellor AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Chancellor AL employers look for certification prior to 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Chancellor AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college 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 receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Chancellor AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working 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 respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Chancellor AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Chancellor AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Chancellor AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Chancellor AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Chancellor AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study 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 need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Phlebotomist Chancellor Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Long Does It Take To Become A Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding Accredited Phlebotomy Schools. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chancellor AL.
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