How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Hoover AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Hoover AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Hoover AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Hoover AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Hoover AL employers require certification before 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college 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 approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Hoover AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also 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 check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority 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 Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hoover AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend 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, confirm it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Hoover Alabama
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hoover AL.