How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Hoover AL
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Hoover AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Hoover AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Hoover AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Hoover AL employers look for certification before hiring 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, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Hoover AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive 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 obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Hoover 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 grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Hoover AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed 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.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Hoover Alabama
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hoover AL.