How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Northport AL is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Northport AL medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights 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 could be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Northport AL laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control 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 response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Northport AL medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Northport AL employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in 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 part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Northport AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Northport AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it’s extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, 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 often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Northport AL job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Northport AL hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see 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 submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Northport AL healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer 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 school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Northport AL healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Northport AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Where to Find Fast Track Phlebotomy Colleges Near Me Northport Alabama
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Fast Track Phlebotomy Colleges Near Me and to get more information regarding Free Information on Local Phlebotomy Certificate Programs Near Me. However, by asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Northport AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
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 25,799 in 2018. 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.
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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