Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Best One Near Gardendale Alabama
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Gardendale AL is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs available to you and it may seem like an intimidating task to investigate and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must perform a detailed audit before making your selection. Quite often the two qualifications that initially are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of 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 assessing to help you pick 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.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Gardendale AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Gardendale AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Gardendale AL students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Gardendale AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite 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 exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Gardendale AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 any 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 research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Gardendale AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Gardendale AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gardendale AL health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Gardendale AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Gardendale Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gardendale Alabama.