Choosing a Phlebotomist School near Muscle Shoals Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Muscle Shoals AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Muscle Shoals AL phlebotomists actually work in labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Muscle Shoals AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training in Muscle Shoals AL, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish 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 require certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved Muscle Shoals AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now 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 chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Alabama school is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the Muscle Shoals AL colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Muscle Shoals AL. Finally, graduating from an accredited college 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 caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Muscle Shoals AL local hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any Muscle Shoals AL phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the Alabama schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Muscle Shoals AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Muscle Shoals AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Muscle Shoals 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Phlebotomist?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomist position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask Phlebotomy Technician applicants is "What compelled you to decide on Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomy Tech, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Phlebotomy, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional Phlebotomist and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist School near Muscle Shoals AL
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Muscle Shoals AL.
Learn About Muscle Shoals Alabama
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Muscle Shoals is the largest city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Muscle Shoals was 13,146. The estimated population in 2015 was 13,706.
Both the city and the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area (including four cities in Colbert and Lauderdale counties) are commonly called "the Shoals".Northwest Alabama Regional Airport serves the Shoals region, located in the northwest section of the state.
Since the 1960s, the city has been known for music – developing the "Muscle Shoals Sound", as local recording studios (including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969) produced hit records that shaped the history of popular music.
Due to its strategic location along the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals played a key role in historic land disputes between Native Americans and Anglo-American settlers in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
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