How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Program
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Bessemer AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first 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 nearby 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bessemer AL medical facilities, well this job probably is not 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 many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably 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 patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bessemer AL laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Bessemer AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Bessemer AL employers require 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Bessemer AL students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive 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 option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Bessemer AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Alabama? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Bessemer AL job market.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Bessemer AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Bessemer AL health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bessemer AL health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bessemer AL, make certain 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Degree Classes Near Me Bessemer Alabama
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Degree Classes Near Me and to get more information regarding Where to Find Online Phlebotomy Classes Near Me. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bessemer AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Bessemer is a city southwest of Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. The population was 27,456 at the 2010 Census. It is within the Birmingham-Hoover, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area, of which Jefferson County is the center. It developed rapidly as an industrial city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 2019 it was named Alabama's "Worst City to Live in" by 24/7 Wall Street.
The town was founded in the postbellum era by the Bessemer Land and Improvement Company, named after Henry Bessemer and owned by coal magnate Henry F. DeBardeleben. He had inherited Daniel Pratt's investments. The mayor and councilmen voted to incorporate the city of Bessemer on September 9, 1887. Located 16 miles southwest of Birmingham, Bessemer grew rapidly and its promoters believed that it might overtake the other city in economic power.
Given the iron ore, coal and limestone deposits in the area, the city became a center of steelmaking from about 1890 through the 20th century. It attracted rural migrants from across the South, as well as European immigrants. By the 1950s, the city was majority African American in population.
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