Selecting a Phlebotomy School near Winfield Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Winfield AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to researching 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 decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Winfield AL area laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Winfield AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as 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, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Winfield AL junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Winfield 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum 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. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Winfield AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the Winfield AL programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Winfield AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Winfield AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the Winfield AL training program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Winfield AL healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Winfield medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer 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 school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Winfield AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Winfield AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Winfield AL?
Winfield is a small city situated in Northwest Alabama 26 miles (42 km) east of the Mississippi state line. It lies in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range which stretches from the deep South all the way to Maine. Long before the earliest settlers arrived, Indian tribes hunted in the forest and fished in the streams and along and around Winfield. The town was originally called "Needmore", but when it was incorporated in either 1887 or 1891, the name was changed to Winfield in honor of General Winfield Scott. This area was once the Chickasaw Indian domain. Although there were no known Indian settlements within the county, several sites were maintained as hunting camps.
Winfield is located in southern Marion County at 33°55′42″N 87°48′29″W / 33.92833°N 87.80806°W / 33.92833; -87.80806 (33.928258, -87.807990), with a portion extending south into Fayette County. U.S. Route 43 passes through the city, leading northwest 6.5 miles (10.5 km) to Guin and south 18 miles (29 km) to Fayette. Hamilton, the Marion County seat, is 20 miles (32 km) northwest via US 43.
Winfield has a subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers, mild winters, and abundant rainfall during the late winter and spring. January sees average daily high temperatures of 53.0 °F (11.7 °C) and lows of 31.8 °F (−0.1 °C). In July, the average daily high is 90.6 °F (32.6 °C), and the low is 69.2 °F (20.7 °C). Snowfall is infrequent in the area, with a yearly average of 0.5 inches (12.7 mm). The average yearly rainfall in Winfield is about 52 inches (1,300 mm), with March being the wettest month and October the driest.
The spring and fall months are pleasant but variable, but cold fronts frequently bring strong to severe thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes to the region. The fall season features less rainfall and fewer storms, as well as lower humidity than the spring, but is also a secondary severe weather season.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near Winfield AL
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Winfield AL.
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