Selecting a Phlebotomy Training Program near Selma Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Selma AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best 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.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some Selma AL phlebotomists actually work in labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Selma AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training in Selma AL, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most employers require certification before 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Selma AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Alabama college is significant in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Selma AL programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs in Selma AL. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Selma AL local hospitals or clinics that you might 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 filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 Selma AL phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the Alabama programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Selma AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Selma AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Selma AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?When prepping to interview for a Phlebotomist job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask Phlebotomist candidates is "What drove you to select Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming Phlebotomist, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Phlebotomy, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional Phlebotomy Technician and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Find the Ideal Phlebotomist School near Selma AL
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Selma AL.
Learn About Selma Alabama
Selma is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, in the Black Belt region of south central Alabama and extending to the west. Located on the banks of the Alabama River, the city has a population of 20,756 as of the 2010 census.
The city is best known for the 1960s Selma Voting Rights Movement and the Selma to Montgomery marches, beginning with "Bloody Sunday" in March 1965 and ending with 25,000 people entering Montgomery at the end of the last march to press for voting rights. This activism generated national attention to social justice and that summer, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed by Congress to authorize federal oversight and enforcement of constitutional rights of all citizens.
It had been a trading center and market town during the years of King Cotton in the South. It was also an important armaments manufacturing and iron shipbuilding center during the Civil War, surrounded by miles of earthen fortifications. The Confederate forces were defeated during the Battle of Selma.
Before discovery and settlement, the area of present-day Selma had been inhabited for thousands of years by various warring tribes of Indians. The Europeans encountered the historic Native American people known as the Muscogee (also known as the Creek), who had been in the area for hundreds of years.
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