How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Berry AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Berry AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Berry AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Berry AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Berry 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Berry AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Berry AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Berry 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 caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Berry AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Berry AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Berry AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Berry AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Certificate Courses Berry Alabama
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Certificate Courses and to get more information regarding Where to Find Online Phlebotomy Colleges. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Berry AL.
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