How to Find the Best One Near Pelham Alabama
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Pelham AL. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Pelham 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 sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Pelham AL employers look for certification before 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 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 pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Pelham AL students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Pelham AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Pelham AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Pelham AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Pelham AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Pelham AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Pelham AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Pelham Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy 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 contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pelham Alabama.