How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Hoover AL
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Hoover AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Hoover AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Hoover AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Hoover AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. 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 prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Hoover AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter 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 job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. 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 refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Hoover AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out 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 total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Hoover AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Hoover Alabama
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit 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 screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover AL.