How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Hoover AL
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Hoover AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might 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's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Hoover AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Hoover AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Hoover AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, 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 phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Hoover AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Hoover AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Hoover Alabama
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hoover AL.