How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Alabaster Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Alabaster AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should 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 reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed 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 accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Alabaster AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Alabaster AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Alabaster AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Alabaster AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming 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 certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Alabaster AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Alabaster AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Alabaster AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final 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 Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Alabaster AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alabaster AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alabaster AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Alabaster AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Alabaster Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit 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 need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alabaster Alabama.