How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Hueytown Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Hueytown AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may 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 a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Hueytown AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Hueytown AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method 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 to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Hueytown AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Hueytown AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Hueytown AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Hueytown AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Hueytown AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hueytown AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Hueytown AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Hueytown Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hueytown Alabama.