How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech School
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Alexander City AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider 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’s important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Alexander City AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right 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 expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Alexander City AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Alexander City AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Alexander City AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Alexander City AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Alexander City AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Alexander City AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Alexander City AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most 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 Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Alexander City AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Classes Near Me Alexander City Alabama
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat 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 must carefully research 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 Classes Near Me and to get more information regarding Where to Find Top Phlebotomy Degree Programs Near Me. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alexander City AL.
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Alexander City, Alabama
Alexander City, known to locals as "Alex City", is a city in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, United States, with a population of some 14,875. It has been the largest community in Tallapoosa County since 1910. It is known for Lake Martin with its 750 miles (1,210 km) of wooded shoreline and 44,000 acres (18,000 ha) of water. Lake Martin stands on the Tallapoosa River and offers boating, swimming, fishing, golfing, and camping. Many neighborhoods and luxury homes are located on the lake.
Alexander City was incorporated in 1872 as Youngsville, after its founder James Young. In 1873, the Savannah and Memphis Railroad came to the city. The city was renamed in honor of the railroad's President Edward Porter Alexander, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg for the Confederate States.
On June 13, 1902, at 1 pm, a fire broke out in the Alexander City Machine shop and destroyed much of the town. At the time, Alexander City did not have a water system and all buildings, including the telegraph office, post office and three banks were burned.