Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near Huntsville Alabama
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Huntsville AL is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Huntsville AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds 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 as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Huntsville AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Huntsville AL students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want 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 Huntsville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely 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 any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Huntsville AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Huntsville AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Huntsville AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Huntsville AL health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Huntsville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Huntsville Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Huntsville Alabama.