How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Brook Highland Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Brook Highland AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Brook Highland AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Brook Highland AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Brook Highland AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Brook Highland AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure 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 extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Brook Highland AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Brook Highland AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges 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 placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Brook Highland AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Brook Highland AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Brook Highland AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Brook Highland AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Brook Highland AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Brook Highland Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Brook Highland Alabama.