How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Bessemer Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Bessemer AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless 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 considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Bessemer AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Bessemer AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Bessemer AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Bessemer AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Bessemer AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bessemer AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Bessemer AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bessemer AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Bessemer AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bessemer AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Bessemer AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Bessemer Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, including 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 options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bessemer Alabama.