How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Vestavia Hills AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Vestavia Hills AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Vestavia Hills AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older 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 collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Vestavia Hills AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Vestavia Hills AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Vestavia Hills AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. 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 in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Vestavia Hills AL medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Vestavia Hills Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Vestavia Hills Alabama.