How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Trussville Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Trussville AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Trussville AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Trussville AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer 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 provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Trussville 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Trussville AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy 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 receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 Trussville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Trussville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Trussville AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Trussville AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Trussville AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Trussville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Trussville AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Trussville Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Trussville Alabama.