How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy School
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Fairhope AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fairhope AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Fairhope AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Fairhope AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Fairhope AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Fairhope AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Fairhope AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fairhope AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Fairhope AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Fairhope AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fairhope AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairhope AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Where to Find Best Phlebotomy Degree Programs Fairhope Alabama
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Best Phlebotomy Degree Programs and to get more information regarding Where to Find Fast Track Phlebotomy Degree Classes. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fairhope AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.
Fairhope was founded in November 1894 on the site of the former Alabama City as a radical Georgist "Single-Tax" colony by the Fairhope Industrial Association, a group of 28 followers of economist Henry George who had incorporated earlier that year in Des Moines, Iowa. Their corporate constitution explained their purpose in founding a new colony:
In forming their demonstration project, they pooled their funds to purchase land at "Stapleton's pasture" on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and then divided it into a number of long-term leaseholds. The corporation paid all governmental taxes from rents paid by the lessees, thus simulating a single-tax. The purpose of the single-tax colony was to eliminate disincentives for productive use of land and thereby retain the value of land for the community.
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