Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Tuscumbia Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Tuscumbia AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Tuscumbia AL area labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Tuscumbia AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers 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 Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Tuscumbia AL junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide 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 the majority of states, a number of Tuscumbia AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Tuscumbia AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. 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 premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the Tuscumbia AL programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Tuscumbia AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of 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 essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Tuscumbia AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish 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 Tuscumbia AL training program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Tuscumbia AL health care 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 develop contacts within the local Tuscumbia healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Tuscumbia AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tuscumbia AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Tuscumbia AL?
Tuscumbia was the hometown of Helen Keller (Ivy Green) and much of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Tuscumbia Historic District. The city serves as the location for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Tuscumbia had its beginnings when the Michael Dixon family arrived about 1816. They traded with Chief Tucumseh for the Tuscumbia Valley and built their home at the head of the big spring. From these humble dwellings quickly developed a village known as the Big Spring Community. The men of the community requested that the state legislature incorporate them as a city. The town was incorporated in 1820 as Ococoposa and is one of Alabama's oldest towns. In 1821, its name was changed to Big Spring and on December 22, 1822, to Tuscumbia, after the Chief Rainmaker of the Chickasaws.
Although shoals on the nearby Tennessee River made the river nearly impassable, a federal highway completed in 1820 provided the area with good access to markets. Tuscumbia soon became the center for agriculture in northern Alabama. A line to the town on the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad was completed in 1832, and by 1850 Tuscumbia was a major railroad hub for train traffic throughout the South.
Tuscumbia is located northeast of the center of Colbert County at 34°43′51″N 87°42′10″W / 34.73083°N 87.70278°W / 34.73083; -87.70278 (34.730839, -87.702854). It is bordered to the north by the city of Sheffield and to the northeast by the city of Muscle Shoals. The Tennessee River is 1 mile (1.6 km) to the northwest.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near Tuscumbia AL
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tuscumbia AL.
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