Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Program near Athens Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Athens AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Athens AL area labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Athens AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Athens AL junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Athens AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Athens AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Athens AL schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Athens AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Athens AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the Athens AL training program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Athens AL medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Athens healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing 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 school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Athens AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Athens AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Athens AL?
Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
Founded in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll, and John Read, Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the State of Alabama, having been incorporated one year prior to the state's admittance to the Union in 1819. Limestone County was also created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818. The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient city in Greece. The town's first mayor was Samuel Tanner, and the Tanner area, south of Athens, was named on his behalf.
The Athens area was the home of William Wyatt Bibb, the first Governor of Alabama, and its second Governor, his brother Thomas Bibb, who succeeded him in office when he died in a fall from his horse.
In 1822, local residents purchased 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land and constructed a building to house the Athens Female Academy. The school became affiliated with the Methodist church in 1842, and was eventually renamed Athens Female College. After becoming coeducational in 1932, the school changed its name again to Athens College. After being taken over by the State of Alabama in 1974, the college was converted to a “reverse junior college,” offering the last two years of instruction for graduates of area community colleges. It is today known as Athens State University.
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomy Course near Athens AL
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Athens AL.
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