Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Choose the Best One Near Gardendale Alabama
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Gardendale AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. Quite often the two requirements that initially are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 Gardendale AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Gardendale AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Gardendale AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Gardendale AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Gardendale AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Gardendale AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough 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 looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Gardendale AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college 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 as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gardendale AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gardendale AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Gardendale Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care 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 academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gardendale Alabama.