How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near Athens Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Athens AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation 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 phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Athens AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much 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 needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Athens AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Athens AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Athens AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Athens AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Athens AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Athens AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Athens AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Athens AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Athens AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Athens AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Find Phlebotomist Colleges Athens Alabama
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Find Phlebotomist Colleges and to get more information regarding Free Info on Phlebotomy Technician Programs. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Athens AL.
More Alabama Bloody Wonderful Locations
Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area.
Founded in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll, and John Read, Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the state, having been incorporated one year prior to the state's admittance to the Union in 1819. Limestone County was also created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818. The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient city in Greece. The town's first mayor was Samuel Tanner, and the Tanner area, south of Athens, was named on his behalf.
The Athens area was the home of William Wyatt Bibb, the first governor of Alabama, and its second governor, his brother Thomas Bibb, who succeeded him in office when he died in a fall from his horse.
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