Selecting a Phlebotomist School near Walnut Grove Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Walnut Grove AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective 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 may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Walnut Grove AL area laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Walnut Grove AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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 solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Walnut Grove AL community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Walnut Grove AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical 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. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Walnut Grove AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the Walnut Grove AL colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 practicing and prepares 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 national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Walnut Grove AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Walnut Grove AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the Walnut Grove AL training program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with Walnut Grove AL medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Walnut Grove medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Walnut Grove AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Walnut Grove AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Walnut Grove AL?
Walnut Grove, Alabama
Walnut Grove is a town in Etowah County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 698. From 1880 until the 1960 U.S. Census, with the exclusion of 1890 when no figure was reported, Walnut Grove had the distinction of being the least populated community wholly within Etowah County. It lost that distinction in 1970 to newly incorporated Ridgeville which has held the title since.
Walnut Grove was part of Blount County before it was included in Baine County (now Etowah) in 1866. Walnut Grove was settled by the Battles family in 1813, the Morton family, and the Carnes family (namesake of the Carnes Chapel area near the ghost town of Bennettsville off of US 278) in 1823. Around 1825, the town was known as "Thomas Crossroads", after landowner Jordan D. Thomas. In 1848, the town was named "Cornelius", after postmaster Harvey Cornelius. In 1849, it was renamed "Walnut Grove".
The first college preparatory school for males and females in northeast Alabama was established by act of Legislature in 1884. The Walnut Grove College ran for 15 years, and during the college's peak the town had grown to have 13 stores, including a drug store with a soda fountain. The Walnut Grove College closed in 1899 as high schools were being established in Etowah County.
In 1917, the finest grade of magnesium was discovered near Silver Gap at Red Mountain, at the western edge of town. The magnesium was mined and refined by Bessemer Mills in Birmingham and Eastman Corporation in Kingsport, Tennessee, in the 1930s and 1940s.
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomy Course near Walnut Grove AL
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Walnut Grove AL.
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