How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Harvest Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Harvest AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Harvest AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Harvest AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw 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 particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. 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. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Harvest AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Harvest AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Harvest AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, 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. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Harvest AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Harvest AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Harvest AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most 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 Harvest AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Harvest AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Harvest AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and 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 perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Harvest Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Harvest Alabama.