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How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Calera Alabama

Calera Alabama phlebotomist drawing blood from patient's armEnrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Calera AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.

Phlebotomist Career Summary

Calera Alabama phlebotomy technician examining blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Calera AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Calera AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

Calera Alabama phlebotomy technician examining a blood sampleThere are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Calera AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

blood sample in test tube Calera AlabamaFirst, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Calera AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Calera AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before 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 some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered 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, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Calera AL job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Calera AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Calera AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school 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 along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Calera AL healthcare community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Calera AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Find Out More About Calera Phlebotomist Programs

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?

Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Calera AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.

Pick the Best Calera Phlebotomy Training

Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Calera Alabama.


 

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