How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Hartselle Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Hartselle AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors 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 evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Hartselle AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Hartselle AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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 exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four 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 most states, a number of Hartselle AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Hartselle AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Hartselle AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hartselle AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, 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 any schools 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 assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Hartselle AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 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 expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Hartselle AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hartselle AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hartselle AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hartselle AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Hartselle Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hartselle Alabama.