How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Alabaster AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Alabaster AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need 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 variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should 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 reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 Alabaster AL laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Alabaster AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working 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 mothers and newborns 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.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered 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 comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Alabaster AL employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Alabaster AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want 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 Alabaster AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Alabaster AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Alabaster AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Alabaster AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Alabaster AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Alabaster AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Alabaster Alabama
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Alabaster AL.