How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Headland Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Headland AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Headland AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Headland AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Headland AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Headland AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Headland AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Headland AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Headland AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Headland AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Headland AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Headland AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Headland AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Best Headland Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Headland Alabama.