How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Brent Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Brent AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best 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.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Brent AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Brent AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Brent AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Brent AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Brent AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Brent AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? 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 essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Brent AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Brent AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Brent AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brent AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Brent AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Brent Phlebotomy Course
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy 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 quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brent Alabama.