Selecting a Phlebotomist School near Northport Alabama
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Northport AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind 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 important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 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 principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. Many Northport AL phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Northport AL medical clinics, hospitals, 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 senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training in Northport AL, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Northport AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the Alabama school is important as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the Northport AL schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist 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 have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Northport AL. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Northport AL local 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 contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Alabama regulator or the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any Northport AL phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the Alabama colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Northport AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Northport AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Northport AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Technician position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask Phlebotomy Tech prospects is "What compelled you to choose Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being Phlebotomist, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Phlebotomy, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Phlebotomy Tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Phlebotomy School near Northport AL
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Northport AL.
Learn About Northport Alabama
Northport is a city in Tuscaloosa County in the west central part of the State of Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River across from downtown Tuscaloosa, it is currently the 21st largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of 24,497 in 2013. It incorporated in 1871. It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As Northport is adjacent to the larger city of Tuscaloosa, many residents work in Tuscaloosa or other parts of Tuscaloosa County. Although the two cities share a land boundary, much of their boundary (and historically all of the boundary) is the Black Warrior River.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.9 square miles (39 km2), of which 14.6 square miles (38 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (1.48%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,435 people, 7,844 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.3 people per square mile (512.9/km²). There were 8,509 housing units at an average density of 581.6 per square mile (224.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.11% White, 26.03% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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