Picking a Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Spanish Fort Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Spanish Fort AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomist training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important 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 assessing to help you select the right 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.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Spanish Fort AL area laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Spanish Fort AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at Spanish Fort AL junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Spanish Fort AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Spanish Fort AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Spanish Fort AL programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Spanish Fort AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Spanish Fort AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the Spanish Fort AL training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Spanish Fort AL health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Spanish Fort health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Spanish Fort AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Spanish Fort AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Spanish Fort AL?
Spanish Fort, Alabama
Spanish Fort is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, located on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 6,798. It is a suburb of Mobile and is part of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area.
In November 2012, Spanish Fort built a community center to house its administrative offices and city amenities. The center is home to the city library, administrative offices, the office of the mayor, and other city-run services. The municipal complex is roughly 30,000 square feet and cost around $5 million to build. It sits on 17-acres of prime land and features a large pond with two fountains and a pavilion. The city also hosts community outreach events along with city council and budget meetings.
Spanish Fort is located at 30°40'7.403" North, 87°55'19.844" West (30.668723, -87.922179), above the east shore of the Blakeley River where it enters Mobile Bay. U.S. Routes 90 and 98 (Battleship Parkway) lead west across the Mobile River and its distributaries 9 miles (14 km) to Mobile. Interstate 10 passes just to the south of Spanish Fort, with access from exits 35 and 38, and leads west across Mobile Bay to Mobile as well.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Spanish Fort has a total area of 33.4 square miles (86.5 km2), of which 28.7 square miles (74.3 km2) is land and 4.7 square miles (12.2 km2), or 14.08%, is water.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near Spanish Fort AL
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Spanish Fort AL.
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