Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Program near Columbia Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Columbia AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor 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 keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomist schools you are evaluating 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 schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Columbia AL area laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Columbia AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can 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 drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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 solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at Columbia AL community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Columbia AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- American Medical Technologists (AMT).
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative 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 Phlebotomist Schools
First, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Columbia AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start 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 college is significant as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the Columbia AL colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Columbia AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin 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 check with a few Columbia AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the Columbia AL training program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Columbia AL healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Columbia medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Columbia AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Columbia AL, make certain they are offered 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 find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Columbia AL?
At the age of 18 Columbia was hired to assist Bill Sienkiewicz in illustrating Alan Moore's ambitious Big Numbers series. When Sienkiewicz withdrew from the series in 1990 after the release of the first two issues, Moore and his backers at Tundra Publishing asked the young Columbia to become its sole artist. In 1992, with no more issues released, Columbia himself left the project under a cloud of rumors and accusations, including claims that he had destroyed his own artwork for Big Numbers #4. Columbia declined to address the subject publicly for several years, writing in a 1998 letter to The Comics Journal that "I could easily launch into a tirade about the extensive horror of my Tundra experience, but I much prefer the very entertaining and conflicting accounts already in circulation." In later statements he confirmed that he destroyed his artwork but disputed other claims by the principal figures in the fiasco.
In a 2011 article reflecting on his Big Numbers experience, Sienkiewicz wrote that he and Columbia had long since reconciled over the matter, and that he was content to "[c]halk the feud up to the folly of youth."
Columbia's first solo comic book, Doghead, was released by Tundra Publishing in 1992. It contains three short stories, two in black and white and one in full color. Paul Gravett described it as "three dark, stylish tales, indebted to Sienkiewicz and McKean but with hints of [Columbia's] emerging singular identity".
Columbia contributed to three issues of the horror anthology From Beyonde in the early nineties, initially under the pen name "Lucien" and then under his own name. His stories "The Biologic Show" and "Tar Frogs" also appeared in the British magazine Deadline. In these works, which focused on visceral and disturbing subject matter including mutilation, incest, and the occult, he moved away from the glossy photorealism of his time with Sienkiewicz towards a scabrous but virtuosic pen-and-ink style that emphasized grotesque physiognomic details such as grinning mouths full of teeth and leering, reptilian eyes.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Columbia AL
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training 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 critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Columbia AL.
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