How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Huntsville AL
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Huntsville AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact 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. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Huntsville AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Huntsville AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older 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 setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Huntsville AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Huntsville AL students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Huntsville AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting 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 before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Huntsville AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Huntsville AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Huntsville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority 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 Huntsville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Huntsville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Huntsville Alabama
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Huntsville AL.