How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Hueytown Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Hueytown AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Hueytown AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Hueytown AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, 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 drawing blood from senior 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 collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Hueytown AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Hueytown AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Hueytown AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior 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. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many 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 reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Hueytown AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Hueytown AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hueytown AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hueytown AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected 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 profession for you.
Choose the Best Hueytown Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hueytown Alabama.