How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Hueytown Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Hueytown AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Hueytown AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Hueytown AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Hueytown AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out 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. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Hueytown AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Hueytown AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Hueytown 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 check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Hueytown AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hueytown AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Hueytown AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Hueytown Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hueytown Alabama.