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Become a Phlebotomist in Hoover Alabama

How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Hoover AL

Hoover AL phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Hoover AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Hoover AL phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Hoover AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Hoover AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Hoover AL labThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Hoover AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:

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

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

Phlebotomy Online Training

Hoover Alabama student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.

Should You Become a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hoover AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Questions to ask Hoover AL phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, 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 degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, 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 schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Hoover AL job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Hoover AL clinics or hospitals that you may 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 Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Hoover AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 healthcare community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working 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. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Hoover Alabama

Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites 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 decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover AL.