How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Vestavia Hills AL
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Vestavia Hills AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Vestavia Hills AL laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Vestavia Hills AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Vestavia Hills AL employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Vestavia Hills AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Vestavia Hills AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Topics 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 chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Vestavia Hills AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Vestavia Hills AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. 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, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Vestavia Hills AL.