How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Trussville Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Trussville AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Job 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 has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Trussville AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Trussville AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Trussville AL employers look for 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Trussville AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type 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 Trussville AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements 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 clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Trussville AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous 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 imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Trussville AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. 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 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Trussville AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at 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 school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Trussville AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Trussville AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Trussville Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Trussville Alabama.