How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Springville Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Springville AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Springville AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Springville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Springville AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Springville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Springville AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online 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 concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Springville AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Springville AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Springville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Springville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Springville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Springville AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Springville Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Springville Alabama.