How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Birmingham AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide 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.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Birmingham AL medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check 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. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Birmingham AL laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Birmingham AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Birmingham AL employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 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 important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Birmingham AL students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Birmingham AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Birmingham AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Birmingham AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Birmingham AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Birmingham AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Birmingham AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Phlebotomists Training Courses Birmingham Alabama
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomists Training Courses and to get more information regarding Becoming A Phlebotomist. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Birmingham AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Birmingham (/ˈbɜːrmɪŋhæm/ BUR-ming-ham) is a city in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2017 population of 210,710, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Jefferson County, Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county. As of 2017, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,149,807, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South, Piedmont, and Appalachian regions of the nation.
Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, through the merger of three farm towns, most notably Elyton. The new city was named for Birmingham, England, the UK's second largest city and, at the time, a major industrial city. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, and rail transport. Most of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry. The city was developed as a place where cheap, non-unionized immigrant labor (primarily Irish and Italian), along with African-American labor from rural Alabama, could work in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast.:14
From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the southern United States. Its growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it nicknames such as "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Its major industries were iron and steel production. Major components of the railroad industry, rails and railroad cars, were manufactured in Birmingham. Since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been Birmingham and Atlanta. The economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century. Banking, telecommunications, transportation, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, and insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast.
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