How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Montevallo Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Montevallo AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Montevallo AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Montevallo AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route 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 phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Montevallo AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Montevallo AL students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Montevallo AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Montevallo AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 talk to a few Montevallo AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Montevallo AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Montevallo AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Montevallo AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical 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 illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Montevallo AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous 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 can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Montevallo Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Montevallo Alabama.