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How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Valley Grande Alabama

Valley Grande Alabama phlebotomist drawing blood from man's armSelecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Valley Grande AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.

Phlebotomist Job Description

Valley Grande Alabama phlebotomist examining blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood 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 must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Valley Grande AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Valley Grande AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

Valley Grande Alabama phlebotomist examining a blood sampleThere are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Valley Grande AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Classes

sample of blood in test tube Valley Grande AlabamaFirst, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Valley Grande AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Valley Grande AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Valley Grande AL job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Valley Grande AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide 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 full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Valley Grande AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Valley Grande AL healthcare community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Valley Grande AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Learn More About Valley Grande Phlebotomy Programs

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Valley Grande AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.

Choose the Right Valley Grande Phlebotomist Program

Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Valley Grande Alabama.


 

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