How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Birmingham AL is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives 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 students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into 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 remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Birmingham AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Birmingham AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Birmingham AL medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Birmingham AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Birmingham AL students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Birmingham AL in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking 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 all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed 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 choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Birmingham AL job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Birmingham AL clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Birmingham AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Birmingham AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Birmingham AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Degree Classes Birmingham Alabama
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Degree Classes and to get more information regarding Where to Find Online Phlebotomy Classes. However, by addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Birmingham AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Birmingham (/ˈbɜːrmɪŋhæm/ BUR-ming-ham) is a city in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2018 population of 209,880, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Jefferson County, Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county. As of 2018, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,151,801, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South, Piedmont, and Appalachian regions of the nation.
Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, through the merger of three farm towns, most notably Elyton. The new city was named for Birmingham, England, the UK's second largest city and, at the time, a major industrial city. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, and rail transport. Most of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry. The city was developed as a place where cheap, non-unionized immigrant labor (primarily Irish and Italian), along with African-American labor from rural Alabama, could work in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast.:14
From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the southern United States. Its growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it nicknames such as "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Its major industries were iron and steel production. Major components of the railroad industry, rails and railroad cars, were manufactured in Birmingham. Since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been Birmingham and Atlanta. The economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century. Banking, telecommunications, transportation, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, and insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast.
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