Choosing a Phlebotomy Training Program near Buhl Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Buhl AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional 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 classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Buhl AL area labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Buhl AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at Buhl AL community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Buhl AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium 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 potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Buhl AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered 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 receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Buhl AL programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing 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 desirable to future employers in the Buhl AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Buhl AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the Buhl AL training program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with Buhl AL medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Buhl healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Buhl AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buhl AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Buhl AL?
Select the Ideal Phlebotomist Training Program near Buhl AL
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buhl AL.
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