Selecting a Phlebotomist Training Program Trussville Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Trussville AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Trussville AL area labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their Alabama work environments are numerous and varied, including Trussville medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at Trussville area junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Alabama employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take in Alabama or where you will be practicing.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Trussville students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the Alabamacolleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future Trussville employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Trussville local hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at 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 indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the Alabama programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Trussville health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Trussville area health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accomodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Trussville, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomist School Trussville ALMaking sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician.