Choosing a Phlebotomy Course near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Tuscaloosa AL is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some Tuscaloosa AL phlebotomists actually work in labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Tuscaloosa AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training in Tuscaloosa AL, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let’s dispel one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Tuscaloosa AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 Alabama school is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the Tuscaloosa AL colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools in Tuscaloosa AL. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with 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 place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Tuscaloosa AL local clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any Tuscaloosa 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 lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the Alabama colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Tuscaloosa AL health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tuscaloosa AL medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tuscaloosa AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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.
Why Did You Want to Become a Phlebotomist?When prepping to interview for a Phlebotomy Technician position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask Phlebotomy Tech candidates is "What compelled you to pick Phlebotomy as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being Phlebotomist, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Phlebotomy, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Phlebotomy Tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Course near Tuscaloosa AL
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tuscaloosa AL.
Learn About Tuscaloosa Alabama
Tuscaloosa (/tʌskəˈluːsə/ TUSK-ə-LOO-sə) is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 99,543 in 2016.
Incorporated as a town on December 13, 1819, it was named after Tuskaloosa, the chieftain of a Muskogean-speaking people who battled and was defeated by forces of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila. It served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846.
Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west-central Alabama known as West Alabama. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Hale and Pickens counties and has an estimated metro population in 2013 of 235,628. Tuscaloosa is also the home of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city.
Tuscaloosa has been traditionally known as the "Druid City" because of the numerous water oaks planted in its downtown streets since the 1840s. The city has also become known nationally for the University of Alabama's success in sports, and particularly in football. City leaders adopted the moniker "The City of Champions" after the Alabama Crimson Tide football team won the BCS National Championship in their 2009, 2011, and again in their 2012 seasons. The Tide won the College Football Playoff in the 2015 season and 2017 season
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