How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Guntersville AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Guntersville AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Guntersville AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Guntersville AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively 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, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as 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, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Guntersville AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Guntersville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Guntersville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Guntersville AL job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Guntersville AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 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 comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Guntersville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Guntersville AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Guntersville AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomy Class Cost Guntersville Alabama
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Class Cost and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist Required Education. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Guntersville AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Guntersville (previously known as Gunter's Ferry and later Gunter's Landing) is a city and the county seat of Marshall County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 8,197. Guntersville is located in a HUBZone as identified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.4 square miles (109.9 km2), of which 25.4 square miles (65.8 km2) is land and 17.0 square miles (44.1 km2), or 40.14%, is water.
Guntersville is located at the southernmost point of the Tennessee River on Lake Guntersville, formed by the Guntersville Dam (built by the Tennessee Valley Authority). Geologically, the lake occupies a southern extension of Sequatchie Valley, which continues south as Browns Valley.
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