How to Find the Best Phlebotomy School
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Minter AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many 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 go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Minter AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Minter AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Minter AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Minter AL employers require certification before 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Minter AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Minter AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges 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 phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically 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 Minter AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Minter AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. 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 full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Minter AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Minter AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Minter AL, make certain 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
How Many Years Of School To Become A Phlebotomist Minter Alabama
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Many Years Of School To Become A Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding How To Choose Phlebotomist Courses. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Minter AL.
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