How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Homewood Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Homewood AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right 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 Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Homewood AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Homewood AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Homewood AL employers require certification prior to 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Homewood AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Homewood AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Homewood AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Homewood AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Homewood AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire 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 the majority 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 Homewood AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Homewood AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Homewood AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Homewood Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before 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 select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Homewood Alabama.