How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Orange Beach AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Orange Beach AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample 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 don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Orange Beach AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Orange Beach AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Orange Beach AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Orange Beach AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Orange Beach AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Orange Beach AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any 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 placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Orange Beach AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Orange Beach AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Orange Beach AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Orange Beach AL, check that 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
How To Train As A Phlebotomist Orange Beach Alabama
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Train As A Phlebotomist and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist Programs. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Orange Beach AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Orange Beach, Alabama
Orange Beach is located along the Gulf of Mexico, and is the easternmost community on Alabama's Gulf Coast, with Florida's Perdido Key bordering it to the east. The city of Gulf Shores is to the west.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.9 square miles (41.3 km2), of which 14.7 square miles (38.1 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.2 km2), or 7.83%, is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,441 people, 2,492 households, and 1,544 families residing in the city. The population density was 370 per square mile (140/km2). There were 11,726 housing units at an average density of 737.5 per square mile (284.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.3% White, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. 2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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