How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Boaz AL is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it’s vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Boaz AL medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Boaz AL laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Boaz AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Boaz AL employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Boaz AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Boaz AL as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Boaz 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 in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Boaz AL clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Boaz AL medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Boaz AL medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Boaz AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Certificate Classes Boaz Alabama
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Where to Find Local Phlebotomy Certificate Classes and to get more information regarding Where to Find Online Phlebotomy Programs. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Boaz AL.
Other Bloody Wonderful Alabama Locations
Boaz is a city in Marshall and Etowah counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is part of the Albertville, Alabama Micropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 9,551. Boaz was known for its outlet shops.
First settled in the 1850s, the town of Boaz was officially founded November 11, 1878 by the Sparks Family of Georgia. A post office has been in operation since 1887. The city was named after Boaz, from the Bible. It was incorporated in 1897.
The Julia Street Memorial United Methodist Church, Snead Junior College Historic District, the Thomas A. Snellgrove Homestead, and the Edward Fenns Whitman House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage lists the Boaz Elementary School, the First Baptist Church and Cemetery, and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.