How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Hokes Bluff Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Hokes Bluff AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Hokes Bluff AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Hokes Bluff AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method 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. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Hokes Bluff AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Hokes Bluff AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Hokes Bluff AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to 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 require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hokes Bluff AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? 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 along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Hokes Bluff AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Hokes Bluff AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hokes Bluff AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hokes Bluff AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Hokes Bluff AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. 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 needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Hokes Bluff Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hokes Bluff Alabama.