How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Forest Home AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to 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 decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Forest Home AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care 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 needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Forest Home AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Forest Home AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting 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 older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting 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 variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Forest Home AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed 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 portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Forest Home AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school 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 disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Forest Home AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose 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 have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Forest Home AL job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 also. You can even talk to a few Forest Home AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Forest Home AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Forest Home AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Forest Home 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 clinical training requirement, make certain 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 illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomy Course Online Forest Home Alabama
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Course Online and to get more information regarding 6 Week Phlebotomy Course. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Forest Home AL.
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