How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Hoover AL
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Hoover AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Hoover AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Hoover AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Hoover AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Hoover AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hoover AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and 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 could be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Hoover AL as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages 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 take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school 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 phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Hoover AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Hoover AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hoover AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Hoover Alabama
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hoover AL.