Choosing a Phlebotomist Training Program near Alexander City Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Alexander City AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order 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 may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Alexander City AL area labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Alexander City AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at Alexander City AL junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Alexander City AL employers look for 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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 part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Alexander City AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 school is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the Alexander City AL colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Alexander City AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Alexander City AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances 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 learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the Alexander City 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 Alexander City AL medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Alexander City healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alexander City AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Alexander City AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Alexander City AL?
Alexander City, Alabama
Alexander City, known to locals as "Alex City", is a city in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, United States, with a population of some 14,875. It is known for Lake Martin with its 750 miles (1,210 km) of wooded shoreline and 44,000 acres (18,000 ha) of water. Lake Martin stands on the Tallapoosa River and offers boating, swimming, fishing, golfing, and camping. Many neighborhoods and luxury homes are located on the lake.
Alexander City was incorporated in 1872 as Youngsville, after its founder James Young. In 1873, the Savannah and Memphis Railroad came to the city. The city was renamed in honor of the railroad's President Edward Porter Alexander, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg for the Confederate States.
On June 13, 1902, at 1 pm, a fire broke out in the Alexander City Machine shop and destroyed much of the town. At the time, Alexander City did not have a water system and all buildings, including the telegraph office, post office and three banks were burned.
In 2015, plaintiffs represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center sued the City of Alexander and its Chief of Police Willie Robinson in federal court, alleging that they had from 2013 to 2015 operated "a modern-day debtors' prison" that unconstitutionally used its police force to arrest and detain at least 190 poor defendants who were unable to pay Municipal Court-imposed fines and costs. In 2017, the city reached a settlement, in which the city and its insurer agreed to pay $680,000 to persons illegally jailed.
Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Alexander City AL
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alexander City AL.
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