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Become a Phlebotomist in Montgomery Alabama

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Montgomery AL

Montgomery AL phlebotomy tech drawing bloodPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Montgomery AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local 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 a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 resume our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary

Montgomery AL phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 actually work in Montgomery AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Montgomery AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Montgomery AL labThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Montgomery AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Montgomery Alabama woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Montgomery AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Montgomery AL as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part 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 some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for 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 phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Montgomery AL job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 also check with several Montgomery AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? First, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Montgomery AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Montgomery AL health care community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Montgomery AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Montgomery Alabama

Montgomery AL phlebotomist lab blood analysisMaking certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Montgomery AL.