Picking a Phlebotomy Course near Athens Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Athens AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Athens AL phlebotomists actually work in laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct 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 many and varied, including Athens AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training in Athens AL, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for 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 essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let’s dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved Athens 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in 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 premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type 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 college is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the Athens AL colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 program and school 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 school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs in Athens AL. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Athens AL local hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any Athens AL phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the Alabama schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Athens AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Athens AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Athens AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Phlebotomist?When preparing to interview for a Phlebotomy Technician job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask Phlebotomy Technician candidates is "What made you choose Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being Phlebotomist, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to Phlebotomy, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional Phlebotomist and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy College near Athens AL
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Athens AL.
Learn About Athens Alabama
Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the 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 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 of Alabama, 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.
In 1822, local residents purchased 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land and constructed a building to house the Athens Female Academy. The school became affiliated with the Methodist church in 1842, and was eventually renamed Athens Female College. After becoming coeducational in 1932, the school changed its name again to Athens College. After being taken over by the State of Alabama in 1974, the college was converted to a “reverse junior college,” offering the last two years of instruction for graduates of area community colleges. It is today known as Athens State University.
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