How to Find the Right One Near Hueytown Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Hueytown AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. However, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. Quite often the two requirements that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your evaluation process. 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 pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Hueytown AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Hueytown AL employers require certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Hueytown AL students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Hueytown AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Hueytown AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Hueytown AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Hueytown AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hueytown AL health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hueytown AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Hueytown Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hueytown Alabama.