How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Tuscumbia AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Tuscumbia AL medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and 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.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Tuscumbia AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Tuscumbia AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Tuscumbia AL employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Tuscumbia AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Tuscumbia AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in 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 a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Tuscumbia AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Tuscumbia AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Tuscumbia AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tuscumbia AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tuscumbia AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomist Training Online Tuscumbia Alabama
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomist Training Online and to get more information regarding Online Phlebotomy Programs. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tuscumbia AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
Tuscumbia was the hometown of Helen Keller (Ivy Green) and much of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Tuscumbia Historic District. The city serves as the location for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Tuscumbia had its beginnings when the Michael Dixon family arrived about 1816. They traded with Chief Tucumseh for the Tuscumbia Valley and built their home at the head of the big spring. From these humble dwellings quickly developed a village known as the Big Spring Community. The men of the community requested that the state legislature incorporate them as a city. The town was incorporated in 1820 as Ococoposa and is one of Alabama's oldest towns. In 1821, its name was changed to Big Spring and on December 22, 1822, to Tuscumbia, after the Chief Rainmaker of the Chickasaws.
Although shoals on the nearby Tennessee River made the river nearly impassable, a federal highway completed in 1820 provided the area with good access to markets. Tuscumbia soon became the center for agriculture in northern Alabama. A line to the town on the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad was completed in 1832, and by 1850 Tuscumbia was a major railroad hub for train traffic throughout the South.