How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Irondale Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Irondale AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Irondale AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Irondale AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Irondale AL employers look for certification prior to 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 a few 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 essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed 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-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Irondale AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Irondale AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Irondale 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 along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Irondale AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Irondale AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Irondale AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Irondale AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Irondale AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Irondale Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, 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 realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Irondale Alabama.