How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Course
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Ashville AL is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We’ll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Ashville AL medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Ashville AL laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Ashville AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Ashville AL employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Ashville AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Ashville AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, 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 future employers in the Ashville AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Ashville AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority 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 Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Ashville AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Ashville AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Ashville AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
What Schools Offer Phlebotomy Training Ashville Alabama
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in What Schools Offer Phlebotomy Training and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist Classes. However, by asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ashville AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Ashville is a city in St. Clair County, Alabama, United States. Its population was 2,212 at the 2010 census, down from 2,260, at which time it was a town. Ashville is the county seat of St. Clair County along with Pell City. It incorporated in 1822.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Ashville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,260 people, 814 households, and 608 families residing in the town. The population density was 116.9 people per square mile (45.1/km2). There were 905 housing units at an average density of 46.8 per square mile (18.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 69.42% White, 26.55% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.31% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 2.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.