How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Hoover AL
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Hoover AL is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Hoover AL labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Hoover AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of 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 solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Hoover AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few 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 imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Hoover AL students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several 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 sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Hoover AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Hoover AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Hoover Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover AL.