How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Hoover Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Hoover AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Hoover AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance 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 Work?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Hoover AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Hoover AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very 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 prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Hoover AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 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 expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Hoover AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Hoover AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like 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, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Hoover Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover Alabama.