How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Tuscaloosa AL is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Tuscaloosa AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Tuscaloosa AL employers look for certification before employing 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Tuscaloosa AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Tuscaloosa AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Tuscaloosa AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Tuscaloosa AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tuscaloosa AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tuscaloosa AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Tuscaloosa AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Tuscaloosa Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tuscaloosa Alabama.