Picking a Phlebotomist School near Alpine Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Alpine AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must 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 phlebotomist schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Alpine AL area labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Alpine AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Alpine AL junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Alpine AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Alpine AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select 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 quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the Alpine AL programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Alpine AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of all 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 assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Alpine AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the Alpine AL training program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Alpine AL health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alpine healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alpine AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Alpine AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Alpine AL?
Select the Ideal Phlebotomist College near Alpine AL
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alpine AL.
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