How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Trussville AL is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. 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 pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Trussville AL medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Trussville AL laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Trussville AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two 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 as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Trussville AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part 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. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Trussville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Trussville AL as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Trussville AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Trussville AL hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Trussville AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Trussville AL medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Trussville AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomist Schooling Trussville Alabama
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist Schooling and to get more information regarding Schools That Offer Phlebotomy. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Trussville AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Trussville is a city in Jefferson and St. Clair counties in the State of Alabama. It is a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its estimated 2015 population was 21,023.
Trussville has been recognized as one of the most livable cities in the state and country. It was named one of the ten best towns in Alabama for young families, listed among the five best Birmingham suburbs, and included in Money magazine's list of 100 best places to live in America.
The first European settler to establish residence in the area was Warren Truss, who entered the area with his brothers and constructed a grist mill on the Cahaba River in 1821. Truss was a North Carolina man of English descent. Trussville remained an agricultural community until after the Civil War, when the Alabama-Chattanooga Railway was built through the city. By 1886 a blast furnace was built on what is now the site of the new Cahaba Elementary School. Trussville was listed as an incorporated community on the 1890 and 1900 U.S. Census rolls. At some point after 1900 until its reincorporation in 1947, it did not appear on census records.
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