Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near Bessemer Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Bessemer AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting undertaking to research and analyze each one. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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 in fact work in Bessemer AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Bessemer AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Bessemer AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Bessemer AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bessemer AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Bessemer AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bessemer AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help 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 higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bessemer AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bessemer AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Bessemer Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school 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 select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bessemer Alabama.