How to Find the Best Phlebotomy School near Vestavia Hills AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Vestavia Hills AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first 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 discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Vestavia Hills AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Vestavia Hills AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Vestavia Hills AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Vestavia Hills AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, 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 premium 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. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Vestavia Hills 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 contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Vestavia Hills AL.