Picking a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Gulf Shores Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Gulf Shores AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Gulf Shores AL area labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Gulf Shores AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Gulf Shores AL junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Gulf Shores AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Gulf Shores AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the Gulf Shores AL programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Gulf Shores AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little 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 colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Gulf Shores AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the Gulf Shores AL training program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Gulf Shores AL health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Gulf Shores health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gulf Shores AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Gulf Shores AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Gulf Shores AL?
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Gulf Shores is located on the Gulf of Mexico at 30°16'4.069" North, 87°42'5.285" West (30.267797, −87.701468). It is the southernmost settlement in the state of Alabama. It is served by Alabama State Route 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway), which leads north to Foley. Route 182 (Beach Boulevard) runs east-west along the shore front, while Route 180 (Fort Morgan Road) runs parallel to it, north of Little Lagoon. Gulf State Park occupies a large eastern part of the city.
Gulf Shores is located 33 miles (53 km) west of Pensacola, Florida, 54 miles (87 km) south of Mobile, 197 miles (317 km) east of New Orleans, 194 miles (312 km) south of Montgomery, and 55 miles (89 km) west of Navarre, Florida.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.0 square miles (72.5 km2), of which 23.2 square miles (60.0 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12.5 km2), or 17.24%, is water.
Gulf Shores has a humid subtropical climate, with long, hot summers, and mild and sunny winters. With bright sunny summers and warm winters, Alabama Gulf Coast weather offers year-round opportunities for beach, fish, golf, and enjoying life. Winters are generally mild and residents can enjoy outside activities the majority of the time. Daily highs in winter are close to 60 °F (16 °C) and nighttime lows are near 40 °F (4 °C). Summers are hot, which makes for great beach weather and the sea breeze provides relief from the heat as well as humidity. Daytime highs in summer are near 90 °F (32 °C) and evening lows near 68 °F (20 °C). While the area enjoys a strong "snowbird" season from December to April, many locals say that May/June and October/November are the best months. Ocean surf temperatures are quite warm from May through November, often well into the low 80s.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Course near Gulf Shores AL
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gulf Shores AL.
Other Cool Cities in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3