How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Fairhope AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician 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 comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fairhope AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. 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 can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Fairhope AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Fairhope AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. 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 probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Fairhope AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Fairhope AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind 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 significant if you will be commuting from Fairhope AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, 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 completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Fairhope AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Fairhope AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Fairhope AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairhope AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairhope AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomist Schooling Fairhope Alabama
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist Schooling and to get more information regarding Schools That Offer Phlebotomy. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairhope AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.
Fairhope was founded in November 1894 on the site of the former Alabama City as a radical Georgist "Single-Tax" colony by the Fairhope Industrial Association, a group of 28 followers of economist Henry George who had incorporated earlier that year in Des Moines, Iowa. Their corporate constitution explained their purpose in founding a new colony:
In forming their demonstration project, they pooled their funds to purchase land at "Stapleton's pasture" on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and then divided it into a number of long-term leaseholds. The corporation paid all governmental taxes from rents paid by the lessees, thus simulating a single-tax. The purpose of the single-tax colony was to eliminate disincentives for productive use of land and thereby retain the value of land for the community.
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