How to Choose the Best One Near Mountain Brook Alabama
A critical first step one must take to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Mountain Brook AL. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your selection. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online classes will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 Mountain Brook AL labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Mountain Brook AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Mountain Brook AL students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Mountain Brook AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Mountain Brook AL job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Mountain Brook AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Mountain Brook AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer 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 school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mountain Brook AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Mountain Brook AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Mountain Brook Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mountain Brook Alabama.