How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near West Blocton AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other West Blocton AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and 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 may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in West Blocton AL labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as West Blocton AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many West Blocton AL employers require certification prior to employing 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist 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. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some West Blocton AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to start 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from West Blocton AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the West Blocton AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all colleges 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 online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some West Blocton AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local West Blocton AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority 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 West Blocton AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Blocton AL, check that 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. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomy Training School West Blocton Alabama
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Training School and to get more information regarding How To Become A Phlebotomy Tech. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in West Blocton AL.
More Bloody Wonderful Locations in Alabama
West Blocton, Alabama
West Blocton is a town in Bibb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,240. The current mayor is Daniel Sims. On 7 November 2016, mere moments after his inauguration during a meeting with two absent council members, Sims announced the reappoints of all town officials except for the police chief. Jay Cromer, was named new chief at a specially called meeting of the city council in late 2016.
West Blocton is located in northern Bibb County at 33°7′7″N 87°7′22″W / 33.11861°N 87.12278°W / 33.11861; -87.12278 (33.118733, -87.122875), at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Mountains.
West Blocton Coke Ovens Park blends history with nature, providing a place to relax and learn about the history of the industrial era of Alabama and how the Coke Ovens supplied the steel of the South.
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