How to Find the Right One Near Homewood Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Homewood AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Homewood AL labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
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 provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Homewood AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Homewood AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Homewood AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available 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 Homewood AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Homewood AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Homewood AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Homewood AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Homewood AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Homewood Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Homewood Alabama.