How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Huntsville AL
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Huntsville AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Huntsville AL labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Huntsville AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each 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 under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Huntsville AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Huntsville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Huntsville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations 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 prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Huntsville AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Huntsville AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Huntsville AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Huntsville AL health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Huntsville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Huntsville Alabama
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Huntsville AL.