How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Hoover AL
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Hoover AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Hoover AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Hoover AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming 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 furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Hoover AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. 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 offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. 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 often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, 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 blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 significant 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 school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Hoover AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hoover AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Hoover Alabama
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking 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 proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hoover AL.