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Become a Phlebotomist in Hoover Alabama

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Hoover AL

Hoover AL phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Hoover AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding 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 as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomist Job Description

Hoover AL phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Hoover AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Hoover AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Hoover AL labThere are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Hoover AL employers look for certification prior to 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Hoover AL woman attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist 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 mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national 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 in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Hoover AL job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Hoover AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Hoover AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL healthcare community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Hoover Alabama

Hoover AL phlebotomist laboratory blood testingMaking sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover AL.