Phlebotomy Training Schools Florence AL

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course

Florence AL phlebotomist drawing blood from donorEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Florence AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.

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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?

Florence AL phlebotomy student training to take bloodRight out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Florence AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 Tech Career Summary

Florence AL phlebotomy tech with patientA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Florence AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

blood analysis in Florence AL labThe quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

Florence AL phlebotomist holding blood sampleThere are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Florence AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Training

Florence AL student attending online phlebotomy trainingTo start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Questions to ask Florence AL phlebotomy schoolsNow 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 chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Florence AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Florence 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 caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing 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 Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Florence AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask 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 jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Florence AL health care community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Florence 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 also. Even 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Phlebotomy Training Schools Florence Alabama

Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Training Schools and to get more information regarding Blood Taking Courses.  However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Florence AL.

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    Florence, Alabama

    Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia metropolitan areas in Colbert and Lauderdale counties). Florence is considered northwestern Alabama's primary economic hub.

    Annual tourism events include the W. C. Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.

    Florence and Lauderdale County have one hospital, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. ECM is a 358-bed facility owned by RCCH HealthCare Partners in Brentwood, Tennessee. In 2010 RCCH HealthCare Partners announced that they would build a new hospital in Florence. The hospital is due to be completed in December 2018.

     

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