How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Pelham Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Pelham AL is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking 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 ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select 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 training.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Pelham AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Pelham AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Pelham AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Pelham AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Pelham AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Pelham AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Pelham AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. 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 Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Pelham AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Pelham AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pelham AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Pelham AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Pelham Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pelham Alabama.