Choosing a Phlebotomy School near Decatur Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Decatur AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional 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 keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job 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 has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some Decatur AL phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest 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 Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Decatur AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training in Decatur AL, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved Decatur AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Alabama college is important in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the Decatur AL schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools in Decatur AL. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Decatur AL local clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any Decatur AL phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the Alabama programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Decatur AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Decatur AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Decatur AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?When preparing to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask Phlebotomy Tech candidates is "What compelled you to choose Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomist, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Phlebotomy, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding Phlebotomy Tech and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Select the Best Phlebotomist Course near Decatur AL
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Decatur AL.
Learn About Decatur Alabama
Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the State of Alabama. The city, affectionately known as "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.
Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second largest city.
Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, cargo transit, and hi-tech industries such as General Electric, and the United Launch Alliance.
Initially the area was known as "Rhodes Ferry Landing", named for Dr. Henry W. Rhodes, an early landowner who operated a ferry that crossed the Tennessee River in the 1810s at the present-day location of Rhodes Ferry Park. The city was incorporated as Decatur in 1821. It was named in honor of Stephen Decatur; after he was killed in a duel in 1820, President Monroe directed that the Alabama town be named for him.
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