Selecting a Phlebotomist School near Marion Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Marion AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to researching phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are evaluating to help you select the best 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.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Marion AL area labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Marion 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 toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior 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 setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at Marion AL junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Marion AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Marion AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the Marion AL schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Marion AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Marion AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the Marion AL training program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with Marion AL health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Marion medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Marion AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marion AL, check that they are available 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 clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Marion AL?
Marion is a city in, and the county seat of, Perry County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 3,686, up 4.8% over 2000. First known as Muckle Ridge, the city was renamed after a hero of the American Revolution, Francis Marion.
Formerly the territory of the Creek Indians, it was founded shortly after 1819 as Muckle Ridge. The city was renamed in honor of Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," hero of the American Revolutionary War, in 1822. It incorporated as a town the same year and also became the second county seat after the hamlet of Perry Ridge was unsuitable. In 1829, it upgraded from a town to a city. From the very early days, Marion created considerable history for a small town on the western frontier of Alabama. The old City Hall (1832) is but one of many antebellum public buildings, churches, and homes in the city today.
At the 1844 meeting of the Alabama Baptist State Convention in Marion, the "Alabama Resolutions" were passed. This was one of the factors that led to the 1845 formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in Augusta, Georgia.
Judson College was founded in 1838 and Marion Military Institute after Howard College moved in 1887. Howard College, initially the location of the current Marion Military Institute, was founded in Marion in 1842, and moved to Birmingham in 1887, later becoming Samford University. A groundbreaking school for African Americans, the Lincoln Normal School, was founded here in 1867. The associated Lincoln Normal University for Teachers moved to Montgomery and became Alabama State University. In 1889, Marion Military Institute was chartered by the State of Alabama and today is the oldest military junior college in the nation.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near Marion AL
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical 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 superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Marion AL.
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