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Become a Phlebotomist in Alabaster Alabama

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Alabaster AL

Alabaster AL phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Alabaster AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online 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 much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to 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 select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Alabaster AL phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Alabaster AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Alabaster AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Alabaster AL laboratoryThere are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Alabaster AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Alabaster AL woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Alabaster AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 significant if you will be commuting from Alabaster AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Alabaster AL job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 as well. You can also talk to a few Alabaster AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Alabaster AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most 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 Alabaster AL health care community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alabaster AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Alabaster Alabama

Alabaster AL phlebotomist laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alabaster AL.