How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy School near Opelika Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Opelika AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Opelika AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Opelika AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Opelika AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route 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 community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Opelika AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Opelika AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Opelika AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance 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 securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Opelika AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Opelika AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Opelika AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Opelika AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Opelika AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Free Info on Phlebotomy Tech Associates Degrees Near Me Opelika Alabama
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Free Info on Phlebotomy Tech Associates Degrees Near Me and to get more information regarding How to Enroll in Phlebotomist Training. However, by addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Opelika AL.
More Alabama Bloody Wonderful Locations
Opelika (pronounced /ˌoʊpəˈlaɪkə/ OH-pə-LY-kə) is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of Opelika was 26,401, and in 2018 the estimated population was 30,555. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 150,933, along with the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area, comprises the Greater Columbus combined statistical area, a region home to 501,649 residents.
The first white settlers in the area now known as Opelika arrived in the late 1830s and established a community called Lebanon. After the removal of the native Creek (Muscogee) peoples by federal troops in 1836-37, the area became known as "Opelika." This word taken from the Muskogee language means "large swamp".
In 1848, the Montgomery and West Point Railroad Company extended a rail line from Montgomery, Alabama, to Opelika, and in 1851, completed a connection to West Point, Georgia, thus connecting Opelika with Atlanta, Georgia. This line was the only direct rail route between New Orleans and the Eastern Seaboard. It rapidly became one of the primary trade lines for shipments of raw cotton from Southern plantations to the North. The Montgomery and West Point was soon joined by a rail connection to Columbus, Georgia, in 1855, and a connection to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1869. Almost overnight, Opelika became a regional hub for commerce.
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