How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Hueytown Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Hueytown AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Hueytown AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Hueytown AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. 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. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Hueytown AL employers look for certification before 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Hueytown AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive 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 ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Hueytown AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select 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 be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable 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 program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates 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 also contact several Hueytown AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer 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 Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 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 adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Hueytown AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hueytown AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hueytown AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Hueytown Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hueytown Alabama.