How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Pelham Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Pelham AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Pelham AL labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Pelham AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route 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. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Pelham AL employers require certification before hiring 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Pelham AL students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Pelham AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need 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 working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 advantages 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 qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Pelham AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Pelham AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Pelham AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pelham AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pelham AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Pelham AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Pelham Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pelham Alabama.