Choosing a Phlebotomy Technician Course near Opelika Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Opelika AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind 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 significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best 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 Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of Opelika AL phlebotomists in fact work in labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Opelika AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, 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 newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training in Opelika AL, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Opelika AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 Alabama college is relevant as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the Opelika AL schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely 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 exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs in Opelika AL. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Opelika AL area hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any Opelika AL phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the Alabama colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Opelika AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Opelika AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Opelika AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Technician position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask Phlebotomy Tech prospects is "What drove you to decide on Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming Phlebotomy Tech, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Phlebotomy, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding Phlebotomy Technician and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Best Phlebotomist Course near Opelika AL
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Opelika AL.
Learn About Opelika Alabama
Opelika (pronounced |ˌoʊ pəˈlaɪ kə|) is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the State of Alabama. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. According to the 2013 Census Estimate, the population of Opelika was 28,635. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 150,933 which, along with the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area and Macon County, Alabama, comprises the greater Greater Columbus, Georgia, 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". Settlement was sporadic until the late 1840s, when the railroad reached the town. This stimulated development of Opelika as a commercial center.
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.
To manage this rapid growth, Opelika was incorporated as a town on February 9, 1854, then within Russell County. As a result of Opelika's transportation infrastructure, many warehouses for storing cotton and other goods were built. With the onset of the Civil War, these warehouses were converted to Confederate supply depots. In 1864 and 1865, Union raids commanded by Lovell Rousseau and James H. Wilson attacked Opelika, tearing up the railroads and destroying all government property, including Opelika's warehouses.
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