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Become a Phlebotomist in Vestavia Hills Alabama

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Vestavia Hills AL

Vestavia Hills AL phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Vestavia Hills AL is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision 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 reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary

Vestavia Hills AL phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Vestavia Hills AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Vestavia Hills AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Vestavia Hills AL labThere are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Vestavia Hills AL employers look for certification before employing 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Training

Vestavia Hills AL woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get 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 on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Vestavia Hills AL students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place 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 also. You can also contact some Vestavia Hills AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Vestavia Hills AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL health care community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. 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, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Vestavia Hills Alabama

Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Vestavia Hills AL.