Choosing a Phlebotomist Training Program near Alabaster Alabama
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Alabaster AL is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Alabaster AL phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Alabaster AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training in Alabaster AL, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved Alabaster AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 Alabama college is important in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the Alabaster AL schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools in Alabaster AL. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Alabaster AL area hospitals or clinics that you may 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 full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Alabama regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any Alabaster AL phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the Alabama programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Alabaster AL healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Alabaster AL health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alabaster AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Tech position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask Phlebotomy Tech prospects is "What compelled you to decide on Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being Phlebotomist, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Phlebotomy, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Phlebotomy Tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomy Program near Alabaster AL
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Alabaster AL.
Learn About Alabaster Alabama
Alabaster is a city and southern suburb of Birmingham in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 30,352. According to the 2013 Census Estimates, the city had a population of 31,342. Alabaster is the 16th largest city in Alabama (by number of residents) and still a growing population.
Alabaster is located at 33°13′52″N 86°49′26″W / 33.23111°N 86.82389°W / 33.23111; -86.82389 (33.231162, −86.823829).
Alabaster mostly occupies Cahaba and Opossum Valleys, which are divided by the Pine Ridge that runs north to south. To the east and west, both valleys are flanked by parallel mountain ridges that locally run north to south, but are a part of a larger system of ridges that generally runs north-east to south-west (the tailing ends of the Appalachian foothills). The valleys are drained by small creeks (Buck Creek, Beaverdam Creek) which flow into the Cahaba River.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.6 square miles (53 km2), of which 20.5 square miles (53 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.24%) is water.
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