Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Program near Orange Beach Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Orange Beach AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to researching phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are researching to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to 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. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Orange Beach AL area laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Orange Beach AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Orange Beach AL community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Orange Beach AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Orange Beach AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Orange Beach AL colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Orange Beach AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Orange Beach AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the Orange Beach AL training program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with Orange Beach AL medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Orange Beach healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Orange Beach AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Orange Beach AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Orange Beach AL?
Orange Beach, Alabama
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,441 people, 2,492 households, and 1,544 families residing in the city. The population density was 370 per square mile (140/km2). There were 11,726 housing units at an average density of 737.5 per square mile (284.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.3% White, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. 2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,492 households out of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.70.
In the city, the population was 18.7% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 31.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $66,656, and the median income for a family was $69,964. Males had a median income of $54,806 versus $47,019 for females. The per capita income for the city was $40,153. About 1.2% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.
The city of Orange Beach hosts many sporting events and tournaments at the Orange Beach Sportsplex. The Sportsplex, located north of the Gulf State Park and a short distance from The Wharf, comprises a football/soccer stadium with a seating capacity of 1,500. The facility also has several baseball and softball fields. The Backcountry Trail system through the Gulf State Park has a trailhead located at the Sportsplex.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School near Orange Beach AL
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Orange Beach AL.
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