Choosing a Phlebotomist Training Program near Helena Alabama
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Helena AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of Helena AL phlebotomists in fact work in laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Helena AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training in Helena AL, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved Helena AL healthcare facility or an on-campus lab|an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility}. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type 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 college is relevant as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the Helena AL schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Alabama? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools in Helena AL. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous 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 important to investigate the reputations of all schools 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 placement 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 Helena AL area hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the Alabama regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any Helena AL phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the Alabama programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Helena AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Helena AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Helena AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?When getting ready to interview for a Phlebotomy Technician job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask Phlebotomy Tech prospects is "What drove you to decide on Phlebotomy as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming Phlebotomy Tech, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Phlebotomy, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Phlebotomy Technician and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Program near Helena AL
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Helena AL.
Learn About Helena Alabama
Helena (pronunciation hel-LE-nah) is a city in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the state of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,793. Helena is highly regarded as a place to live and raise children; Business Week named Helena the 13th "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in 2007. It has the eighth-lowest crime rate per population in the U.S., and the city was ranked in Money magazine's 2007 list of "Best Places to Live: Top 100" in the U.S., placing at number 91. The Alabama League of Municipalities awarded Helena the 2008 Municipal Achievement Award (population 10,001 to 20,000).
Helena initially incorporated in 1877, but reincorporated in 1917 after errors were discovered in the initial incorporation papers. It did not first appear on the U.S. Census until 1920, giving credence to the later date of incorporation.
The initial settlers to Helena, initially named Cove, were veterans of the final campaigns of the War of 1812. Members of Andrew Jackson's army who cut through the brush were attracted to the quiet, peaceful valleys and streams after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. These first settlers were reported to arrive in 1849 and were predated by the Creek Indian tribes who these settlers had battled. By 1856, the Cove post office opened. Shortly thereafter, the settlers changed the name of the town to Hillsboro.
The onset of the Civil War brought the need for the South to increase its manufacturing output and add industrialization where there was none prior. Coal and iron ore mines were dug all throughout the area and the addition of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad infrastructure made Helena a center point for the wartime efforts. Around 1864 a rolling mill was built on Buck Creek, near the rail lines to process the Iron from Selma. Peter Boyle, an engineer for the railroad working on a new line, met and courted Helen Lee. He would name the burgeoning rail station that fed the rolling mill after her and, eventually, changing the town name to Helena.
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