Selecting a Phlebotomy Technician School near Florence Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Florence AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Florence AL area laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Florence AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 Florence AL community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Florence AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomist 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 Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Florence AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 important as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the Florence AL programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Florence AL job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Florence AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the Florence AL training program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with Florence AL healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Florence medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer 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 program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Florence AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Florence AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Florence AL?
Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia metropolitan areas in Colbert and Lauderdale counties). Florence is considered northwestern Alabama's primary economic hub.
Annual tourism events include the W. C. Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.
Florence and Lauderdale County have one hospital, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. ECM is a 358 bed facility owned by RCCH HealthCare Partners in Brentwood, Tennessee. In 2010 RCCH HealthCare Partners announced that they would build a new hospital in Florence. The hospital is due to be completed in December 2018.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florence has a total area of 25.0 square miles (65 km2), of which 24.9 square miles (64 km2) is land, and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.40%) is water. Florence is located on Wilson Lake and Pickwick Lake, bodies of water on the Tennessee River dammed by Pickwick Dam and Wilson Dams. Pickwick Lake was created by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), one of several alphabet agencies of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Wilson Dam (currently operated by the TVA) was authorized by President Woodrow Wilson in 1918 and was the first dam constructed on the Tennessee River.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Course near Florence AL
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Florence AL.
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