Home >> Alabama >> Birmingham >> Phlebotomy Courses Near Me


Become a Phlebotomist in Birmingham Alabama

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Birmingham AL

Birmingham AL phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Birmingham AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to 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 pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.

Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area

Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Birmingham AL phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Birmingham AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Birmingham AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing 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 setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Birmingham AL laboratoryThere are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Birmingham AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Classes

Birmingham Alabama woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Birmingham AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.

Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Birmingham AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Questions to ask Birmingham AL phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Birmingham AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Birmingham AL job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Birmingham AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Birmingham AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask 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 college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Birmingham AL medical community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Birmingham AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Birmingham Alabama

Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Birmingham AL.