How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Mexia AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into 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 a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish 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 prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Mexia AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Mexia AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Mexia AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Mexia AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical 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. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Mexia AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Mexia AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy 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 be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Mexia AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Mexia AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Mexia AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Mexia AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mexia AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
How To Be Phlebotomist Mexia Alabama
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your final choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Be Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding How To Choose Phlebotomy Training. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mexia AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Mexia is an unincorporated community in Monroe County, Alabama, United States. Mexia is located on Alabama State Route 47, 4 miles (6.4 km) west-southwest of Monroeville. Mexia has a post office with ZIP code 36458. Mexia has two small historic cemeteries on Thompson Road and Rolland Road. The largest church in Mexia is Mexia Baptist Church located on Old Salem Road. In Mexia there is also New Chapel Baptist Church located on Snowden Road, and Old Salem Baptist Church located on Old Salem Creek Road.