How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Hoover AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Hoover AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Hoover AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Hoover AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Hoover AL employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hoover AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements 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 amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, 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 premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges 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 screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Hoover AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hoover AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school 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 as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hoover AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Hoover Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover AL.