Selecting a Phlebotomy Training Course near Andalusia Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Andalusia AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must 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 phlebotomist schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Andalusia AL area labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Andalusia AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians 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 Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with 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 phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Andalusia AL junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Andalusia AL employers require certification before 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let’s resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Andalusia AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the Andalusia AL schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely 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 examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Andalusia AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any 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 placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Andalusia AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the Andalusia AL training program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Andalusia AL medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Andalusia healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs 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 positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Andalusia AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Andalusia AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Andalusia AL?
Andalusia was first settled in 1841 after flooding of the Conecuh River and the surrounding lowlands forced citizens to move to higher ground. The county seat was moved from Montezuma to Andalusia in 1844. The new town was originally called "New Site" but was known as Andalusia by the time a post office was established in 1846.
Andalusia, likely got its name from Spanish explorers or settlers since the land where the town is located was part of Spanish Florida until Pinckney's Treaty in 1795. Prior to this treaty, the Spanish Empire claimed all land up to 32.22 degrees north, which would include present day Andalusia which is at 31.31 degrees north. Andalusia shares the name of Andalusia, a large southern autonomous community of Spain.
Andalusia is located slightly northwest of the center of Covington County at 31°18′N 86°29′W / 31.300°N 86.483°W / 31.300; -86.483 (31.309, -86.479). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51.3 km2), of which 19.7 square miles (50.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.79%, is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Andalusia has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomist College near Andalusia AL
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Andalusia AL.
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