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Become a Phlebotomist in Hoover Alabama

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Hoover AL

Hoover AL phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Hoover AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Career Description

Hoover AL phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Hoover AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Hoover AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Hoover AL laboratoryThere are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Hoover AL woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Hoover AL students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (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 learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Hoover AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Hoover AL job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Hoover AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hoover AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL medical community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hoover AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Hoover Alabama

Hoover AL phlebotomist lab blood testingMaking certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare 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 certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover AL.