How to Find the Best One Near Bessemer Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Bessemer AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. More often than not the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bessemer AL laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Bessemer AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Bessemer AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Bessemer AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Bessemer AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, 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 schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Bessemer AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Bessemer AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bessemer AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bessemer AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Bessemer Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bessemer Alabama.