How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Hoover AL
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Hoover AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Hoover AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Hoover AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may 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 training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Hoover AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Hoover AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national 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 aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. 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 College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Hoover AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hoover AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hoover AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Hoover Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover AL.