How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Fultondale AL is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fultondale AL medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with 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.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Fultondale AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Fultondale AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Fultondale AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies 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 likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Fultondale AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Fultondale AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fultondale AL job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Fultondale AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 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 offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? 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 frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Fultondale AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fultondale AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Fultondale AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Colleges That Offer Phlebotomy Program Fultondale Alabama
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Colleges That Offer Phlebotomy Program and to get more information regarding Phlebotomy Technician Training Program. However, by asking 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 training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fultondale AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
This area was once known as Fulton Springs. Prior to the building of Interstate 65, US 31 was the main route for travelers northbound from Birmingham towards Nashville, Tennessee. As a result, hotels such as the Keystone Lodge and Buchmann Motor Inn prospered. On the city's southern edge was located one of the few drive-in theatres in the Birmingham area (the "Skyview"). This was torn down when I-65 was built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Pine Bowl bowling alley is still a long time fixture in the city.Traces of the old routing of US 31 are still noticeable in the city. From just south of the city hall to an old bridge on this city's northern side, most of this old routing is known as Stouts Road or in some cases simply "old US 31."
Fultondale was a relatively stagnant community until the last decade. Growth has occurred in residential areas mainly west of Interstate 65, while retail development has focused along and near the I-65/Walkers Chapel Road exit.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.2 square miles (32 km2), all land. Fultondale is located along one of the many ridgelines that comprise the southern end of the Appalachian Mountain chain. The area has been thoroughly mined for coal and other minerals in the past 100 years. The city is served by two major north/south highways, Interstate 65 and US Highway 31. The new Interstate 22 encroaches on the city's western edge and on June 20, 2016, the interchange with I-65 just south of Fultondale opened. I-22 will provide direct interstate access to Memphis, Tennessee. Upon completion of Interstate 22, Fultondale will become the fourth Alabama city (after Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile) to be directly served by more than one two-digit interstate highway (I-65 & I-22). The only east/west thoroughfare of note is Walkers Chapel Road (west of US 31) and New Castle Road (east of US 31). Rail lines run north/south along the city's eastern edge from Boyles Yard in Tarrant to points north and east. Air travel is available from nearby Birmingham International Airport.
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