Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Best One Near Vestavia Hills Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Vestavia Hills AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and compare each one. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Vestavia Hills AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Vestavia Hills AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Vestavia Hills AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Vestavia Hills 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 an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Vestavia Hills AL job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal 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 investigate 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 assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Vestavia Hills AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Vestavia Hills AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Vestavia Hills AL medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, make sure they are available 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Vestavia Hills Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Vestavia Hills Alabama.