How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Alabaster AL
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Alabaster AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Alabaster AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Alabaster AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. 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 new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Alabaster AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Alabaster AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Alabaster AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously 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 prospective employers in the Alabaster AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges 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 assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Alabaster AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing 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 comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Alabaster AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Alabaster AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alabaster AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. 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 emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Alabaster Alabama
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alabaster AL.