How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Helena AL is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll review more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Helena AL medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Helena AL labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Helena 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 toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Helena AL employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Helena AL students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Helena AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Helena AL job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, 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 asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Helena AL hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs 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 often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Helena AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Helena AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Helena AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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.
Where to Find Top Phlebotomy Degree Schools Near Me Helena Alabama
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Top Phlebotomy Degree Schools Near Me and to get more information regarding Where to Find Weekend Phlebotomy Certificate Classes Near Me. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Helena AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
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 ranked the city as 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. Its population was not recorded separately in the U.S. Census until 1920, reflecting the later date of incorporation.
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