How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Vestavia Hills AL
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Vestavia Hills AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right 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 Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Vestavia Hills AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Vestavia Hills AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
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 offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Vestavia Hills AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Vestavia Hills AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many 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 important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Vestavia Hills AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Vestavia Hills AL.