How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Pell City Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Pell City AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select 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 Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Pell City AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Pell City AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Pell City AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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 portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Pell City AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Pell City AL as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Pell City AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Pell City AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Pell City AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire 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 program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pell City AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Pell City AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Pell City AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not 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 drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 right job for you.
Pick the Best Pell City Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pell City Alabama.