How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Tuscumbia AL is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Tuscumbia AL medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Tuscumbia AL labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Tuscumbia AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Tuscumbia AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let’s dispel one likely misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Tuscumbia AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Tuscumbia AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Tuscumbia AL job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In a number of 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 investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Tuscumbia AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Tuscumbia AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tuscumbia AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tuscumbia AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Where to Find Weekend Phlebotomy Certificate Classes Tuscumbia Alabama
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Weekend Phlebotomy Certificate Classes and to get more information regarding Free Information on Best Phlebotomy Programs. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tuscumbia AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Tuscumbia was the hometown of Helen Keller (Ivy Green) and much of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Tuscumbia Historic District. The city serves as the location for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Tuscumbia had its beginnings when the Michael Dixon family arrived about 1816. They traded with Chief Tucumseh for the Tuscumbia Valley and built their home at the head of the big spring. From these humble dwellings quickly developed a village known as the Big Spring Community. The men of the community requested that the state legislature incorporate them as a city. The town was incorporated in 1820 as Ococoposa and is one of Alabama's oldest towns. In 1821, its name was changed to Big Spring and on December 22, 1822, to Tuscumbia, after the Chief Rainmaker of the Chickasaws.
Although shoals on the nearby Tennessee River made the river nearly impassable, a federal highway completed in 1820 provided the area with good access to markets. Tuscumbia soon became the center for agriculture in northern Alabama. A line to the town on the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad was completed in 1832, and by 1850 Tuscumbia was a major railroad hub for train traffic throughout the South.