Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Decatur Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Decatur AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality 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. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Decatur AL area laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Decatur AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working 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 exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at Decatur AL community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Decatur AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations 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 Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum 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 portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Decatur AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the Decatur AL schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Decatur AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Decatur AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? 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. 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the Decatur AL training program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Decatur AL health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Decatur health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Decatur AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Decatur AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Decatur AL?
Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the State of Alabama. The city, affectionately known as "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.
Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second largest city.
Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, cargo transit, and hi-tech industries such as General Electric, and the United Launch Alliance.
Initially the area was known as "Rhodes Ferry Landing", named for Dr. Henry W. Rhodes, an early landowner who operated a ferry that crossed the Tennessee River in the 1810s at the present-day location of Rhodes Ferry Park. The city was incorporated as Decatur in 1821. It was named in honor of Stephen Decatur; after he was killed in a duel in 1820, President Monroe directed that the Alabama town be named for him.
Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Decatur AL
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Decatur AL.
Other Cool Cities in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 8