How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Hamilton Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Hamilton AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Hamilton AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Hamilton AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Hamilton AL employers require certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive 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. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Hamilton AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Hamilton AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have 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 readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Hamilton AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Hamilton AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Hamilton AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hamilton AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hamilton AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Hamilton AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Hamilton Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hamilton Alabama.