How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Arlington AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Arlington AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Arlington AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Arlington AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older 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 collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Arlington AL employers require 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Arlington AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now 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 selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Arlington AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy 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 all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Arlington AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Arlington AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Arlington AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Arlington AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Arlington 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 as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 due to emergencies or illness.
Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Training Programs Arlington Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Training Programs and to get more information regarding Where to Find Top Phlebotomy Degree Courses. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arlington AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia, often referred to simply as Arlington or Arlington, Virginia. The county is situated in Northern Virginia on the southwestern bank of the Potomac River directly across from the District of Columbia, of which it was once a part. The county is coterminous with the U.S. Census Bureau's census-designated place of Arlington. Arlington is considered to be the second-largest "principal city" of the Washington metropolitan area.
In 2018, the county's population was estimated at 237,521, making Arlington the sixth-largest county in Virginia by population; if it were incorporated as a city, would be the fourth-most populous city in the state. With a land area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Arlington is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the U.S., and by reason of state law regarding population density, it has no incorporated towns within its borders. It is the 5th highest-income county in the U.S. by median family income.
Due to the county's proximity to downtown Washington, D.C., Arlington is home to many important installations for the national capital region and U.S. government, including the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport, and Arlington National Cemetery. Many schools and universities have campuses in Arlington, including George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School and Schar School of Policy and Government, as well as satellite campuses of the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.